Changes to employment permits

The Government has announced changes to the employment permits system for workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) following a comprehensive review

The changes, which will come into effect from 1 January 2020, will address immediate labour shortages in key sectors such as hospitality, construction, health and road haulage. The changes mean that:

  • All chef grades are now eligible for an employment permit and the occupation will no longer be subject to quotas.

  • All nurses can now qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, which brings immediate family reunification, broad access to the Irish labour market for family members and a fast track to long term residency after two years.

  • Most professional occupations in the construction sector can now qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit. Technician and construction support occupations, such as Foreman, Architectural Technician and Construction Safety Officer, can qualify for a General Employment Permit.

  • Other changes include an extension of the quota for HGV drivers by 200.

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