In an effort to address the manpower shortage in Ireland, the government has formulated plans to attract foreign workers, including those with critical skills, from countries such as Nigeria. This work permit allows them to apply for a visa with their dependents. This initiative signifies a deliberate move to extend opportunities beyond the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes EU member states. The release from the Citizens Information Board on January 16, 2023, details the program under the “Critical Skills Employment Permit.”
The statement emphasizes, “If you are from a country outside of the EEA, Switzerland, and the UK, you need permission to live and work in Ireland.”
However, the program aims to alleviate the shortage of skilled workers in various sectors, spanning production management, natural and social sciences, engineering, information technology, telecommunications, health, education, business administration, architecture, arts and media, design, sports, fitness, sales, and marketing.
The Critical Skills Employment Permit specifically targets qualified individuals in disciplines crucial for the smooth functioning of the Irish economy. To be eligible, participants must secure a job offer lasting two years or more from a registered company or employer in Ireland.
Eligibility and the Application Process
To qualify, applicants must be in direct employment and receive payment from their Irish employer. Job offers from recruitment agencies or intermediaries are not acceptable. Additionally, the minimum annual salary for job offers is €32,000 for occupations on the Critical Skills Occupation List and €64,000 for those not on the list. Application fees amount to €1,000, with a 90% refund for refused or withdrawn applications. Rejected applications are justified, and applicants have a 28-day window for appeals.
Therefore, eligible parties for the application include employers, employees, connected persons or contractors, or authorized agents and the application and payment are conducted online. However, companies where over 50% of employees are non-EEA nationals are ineligible for work permits, with a potential waiver for start-up companies supported by Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland.
Successful applicants residing outside Ireland proceed to apply for a visa with an employment permit. They present the necessary documents to immigration officers and register with the local office for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP), incurring a cost of €300.