Ireland’s employment permits regulations* are due to bring into effect some key changes to the current employment permits regime from 1 January 2020.
These changes include:
* The Employment Permits (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2019 (SI No. 333/2019).
Immigration counsel, global mobility advisers charged with cross-border employment, and mobile employees, need to be aware of these changes to the new employment permit application requirements so that they may plan accordingly for any future hiring opportunities involving non-European Economic Area (EEA) national employee hires.
Any individuals who will be required to apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit or General Employment Permit after 1 January 2020, must meet the new application requirements – and this means the imposition, potentially, of stricter criteria for eligibility and may take more time to complete the process.
Failure to meet the new requirements could attract unwanted scrutiny by the authorities and potentially result in failed applications and fines.
The following changes will come into effect from 1 January 2020:
1. Changes to minimum requirements for Critical Skills Employment Permit application
The minimum remuneration threshold for a Critical Skills Employment Permit application will increase by 6.7 percent.
Under the current employment permits regime, the criteria for eligibility for a Critical Skills Employment Permit application are as follows:
In accordance with the new Regulations, the criteria for eligibility for a Critical Skills Employment Permit with effect from 1 January 2020, will apply as follows:
2. Changes to Labour Market Needs Test for General Employment Permit or Contract for Services Employment Permit applications
To foster the availability of job opportunities for Irish and EEA nationals, employers are required to satisfy a Labour Market Needs Test (LMNT) before a General Employment Permit or a Contract for Services Employment Permit application is made, save for certain exceptions.
Under the current employment permits system, an employer must advertise the vacancy with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Employment Services/EURES employment network for at least two weeks as part of the LMNT process. In accordance with the new Regulations, this advertising requirement will increase from two weeks to four weeks.