Ireland – Statutory Changes to the Employment Permits Regime

Ireland – Statutory Changes to the Employment Permits R

This report covers changes introduced to Ireland’s employment permits regime that make important changes to occupations lists and documentation requirements.



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New Regulations in Ireland will commence on 22 April 2019, bringing about a number of changes to the employment permits system including:

  • Changes to the Critical Skills Occupations List
  • Changes to the Ineligible List of Occupations
  • Changes to Revenue documentation requirements.1


Immigration counsel and clients need to be aware of these changes to employment permits legislation so that they can plan accordingly to meet the new documentary requirements in respect of all employment permit applications and renewals.  In light of the changes to the Critical Skills Occupations List and the Ineligible Occupations List, it is important for employers to note the new opportunity to recruit non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals in respect of a wide range of occupations – in the construction industry in particular. 

Highlights of New Employment Permit (Amendment) Regulations 2019

The Regulations provide for a number of changes to the current employment permits regime, the more notable ones we highlight below. 

Changes to Critical Skills Occupations List

The following occupations have been added to the Critical Skills Occupations List and will be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit from 22 April 2019:

  • Civil Engineers
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Construction and Project Managers
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineers with BIM expertise
  • High-Performance Directors and Coaches for high-level sports organisations (where employment as a High-Performance Director or Coach is in a national or high-profile sports organisation engaging in international competition).

Changes to Ineligible Occupations List

A number of occupations in the construction industry have been removed from the Ineligible Occupations List and will be eligible for an employment permit from 22 April 2019.  These occupations are as follows:

  • Sheet metal workers
  • Welding trades
  • Pipefitters
  • Air-conditioning and refrigeration engineers
  • Shuttering carpenters
  • Glaziers, window fabricators, and fitters
  • Scaffolders, stagers, and riggers
  • Crane drivers
  • Transport and distribution clerks and assistants (subject to a quota of 300)
  • Plasterers (subject to a quota of 250)
  • Bricklayers (subject to a quota of 250).  

Changes to Revenue Documentation Requirements

In light of the new PAYE Modernisation Initiative, the following Revenue documentation will now be required as part of the employment permit application and renewal process:

  • Form P30 or receipt of such return, or a statement issued by the Revenue Commissioners showing the monthly statutory return made by the employer dated within the three-month period preceding the application.
  • Form P60 or a copy of or electronic access to an end-of-year income statement compiled by the Revenue Commissioners for each year that the individual has been employed in Ireland pursuant to an employment permit, or Form P21 if not available.
  • Form P45 issued or evidence of the employment record held by the Revenue Commissioners indicating the end-date of employment in the event of a foreign national’s redundancy.


Employers should be aware of the new documentary requirements in order to plan accordingly for future employment permit applications and renewals.  Employers operating in the construction and sports sectors in particular should be aware of the new opportunity to recruit non-EEA nationals in respect of a greater variety of occupations.

Affected parties should consult with their immigration counsel about the developments and opportunities introduced by the Regulations or alternatively, contact the Corporate Immigration and Employment Law Team with KPMG in Ireland.


1  The Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 138 of 2019) (the “Regulations”).

*  Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ireland.

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