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Ireland’s Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has announced that it will be prioritising the processing of all applications for employment permits for medical staff.

Therefore, the timing of all other employment permit applications will be impacted, and employers and employees may need to plan for this as it is likely that all non-medical staff employment permit applications that have already been submitted or are due to be submitted will be delayed. 

Impact

In the event of a slow down or shut down of the DBEI, we understand that the processing of employment permit applications will continue, however hard copy employment permits may not be issued.  

The DBEI will be advising on contingency plans, if necessary, in due course. We will endeavour to update readers should any significant developments occur.

Why this matters

Immigration counsel and clients need to be aware of these changes as it is likely that all non-medical staff employment permit applications that have already been submitted or are due to be submitted will be delayed.  As a consequence of this, employees may not be able to start their employment on their intended date, and employers, therefore, will have to make provision for this possibility so that there is minimal disruption to the pursuit of their business objectives and their operations.

Delay in employment permit processing times

As a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, the Employment Permits service of the DBEI be will be affected.  The DBEI has announced that it has begun the process of expediting all applications for employments permits for medical staff in the processing queue.  Therefore, the timing of all other employment permit applications will be impacted, and employers and employees may need to plan for this.

The DBEI has contingency plans in place to deal with the developing situation of the outbreak of COVID-19 and is currently operating as normal. However, there is a possibility of a slowdown in processing times or a complete shutdown of the Employment Permits service. In this event, the Employment Permits service will continue to carry out its priority work. 

KPMG note

As this is a developing situation, it is important that employers and employees keep up to date with any notifications from the DBEI.  At some stage it may not be possible to print and distribute employment permits, and should this happen the DBEI will be advising of the appropriate steps.

Should you have any concerns, please contact your usual labour/employment law or immigration specialist or the Corporate Immigration and Employment Law Team with KPMG in Ireland.

Further information