Tag Archive for: employment permit

MINISTER RICHMOND ANNOUNCES LARGEST EVER EXPANSION TO THE EMPLOYMENT PERMITS SYSTEM

On the 20th of December 2023, the Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retails announced significant changes to Ireland’s employment permits system. These changes include an increase in salary thresholds for permit holders and an additional 43 occupations becoming eligible for employment permits.

Minister Richmond stated that the changes have been introduced to reflect both inflation and economic growth in the State and the necessity and of the skills, experience and cultural diversity that Migrants bring to Irish society.

From 17th January 2024, the minimum salary for new General Employment Permits (GEP) will increase from €30,000 to €34,000. Employers seeking to hire GEP roles are advised should advertise this salary rate as Labour Market Needs Tests that do not reflect the appropriate salary will be rejected.

The new standard Critical Skills Employment Permit minimum salary requirement has also increased to from €34,000 to €38,000.

Health care assistants and home carers salary requirement will increase from €27,000 to €30,000 and the minimum salary for meat processors and horticultural workers will increase from €22,000 to €30,000. These changes bring all permit holders in line with the minimum salary requirement for family reunification as many workers in these roles will wish to avail of this.

Additionally, a number of occupations have now become eligible for employment permits as of 20th December 2023.

Occupations added to the Critical Skills Occupations List include:

  • Professional Forester
  • Resource modelling, earth observation and data analyst
  • Meteorologist
  • Operational Forecaster
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • BIM Manager
  • Optometrist (Ophthalmic Optician)
  • Commercial Manager
  • BIM Coordinator/Technician
  • Estimator

Occupations eligible for a General Employment Permit:

  • Residential Day and Domiciliary Case Managers – in Disability Services
  • Play Therapist – in Disability Services
  • Genetic Counsellor
  • Social Care Worker
  • Family Support Workers – in Disability Services
  • Project Offices, Disability
  • Support Worker (social, community, public and charity)
  • Guide Dog Mobility Instructor for the Visually Impaired
  • Autism Assistance Dog Instructor
  • Pig Managers
  • Smiths and forge workers
  • Moulders, core makers and die casters
  • Metal plate workers and riveters
  • Car mechanic, Motor mechanic, Auto electrician, Motor vehicle technician
  • HGV mechanic
  • Vehicle body builders and repairers/Body shop panel beaters
  • Electrician, electrical contractor, electrical engineer,
  • Vehicle paint technician
  • Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades supervisors
  • Upholstery and furniture operatives
  • Butchers/(de)boner
  • Baker
  • Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers
  • Senior Care Workers – in Disability Services
  • Textile Process Operatives
  • Wood Machine Operatives
  • Saw Doctor/Wood Machine Mechanic
  • Armature Rewinder
  • Pig Farm Assistants
  • Speciality Forestry Harvesting Technician

 

Further occupations which had previously been made eligible for General Employment Permits have had their quotas extended as follows:

  • 1,000 GEPs for meat processing operatives
  • 350 GEPs for butcher/deboners
  • 350 GEPs for dairy farm assistants
  • 1,000 GEPs have been provided for horticultural workers to support the sector until the introduction of the Seasonal Employment Permit 

 

For further information, please see the below guidance note published by the Department of Enterprise:

https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/publications/publication-files/advisory-note-users-of-employment-permit-system.pdf

 

Please see also the below link for details of Minister Richmond’s announcement:

https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/news-and-events/department-news/2023/december/20122023.html

 

Berkeley Solicitors are available to provide support and assistance to any employment permit applicants.

This blog article has been prepared on the basis of current immigration law and policy, which is subject to change. Please keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page where articles relating to updates and changes in immigration law and policy are regularly posted.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCE EXCEPTIONAL AWARD OF STAMP 4 PERMISSION TO NON-EEA CREW MEMBERS UNDER THE ATYPICAL WORKING SCHEME

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCE EXCEPTIONAL AWARD OF STAMP 4 PERMISSION TO NON-EEA CREW MEMBERS UNDER THE ATYPICAL WORKING SCHEME

On the 3rd of January, 2023, the Department of Justice announced that all those currently holding valid Stamp 1 permission to work as a non-EEA crew member in the Irish Fishing Fleet on or after 1st January 2023 will be granted Stamp 4 immigration permission.

 

This permission will be granted on an exceptional basis due to the closure of new applications for the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) for such non-EEA crew. The AWS Scheme closed following an agreement to transfer responsibility for work permissions in this sector to the Employment Permit system. The granting of Stamp 4 permissions has been announced to provide certainty and security to employees and employers in this sector during this transitional period.

 

Stamp 4 immigration permission will be granted to any individual non-EEA crew member who currently holds a valid IRP card expiring on or after 1st January 2023. Any individuals who hold a letter of permission under the AWS Scheme issued on or after the 3rd of October 2022, will also be eligible for Stamp 4, as such letters are valid for 90 days from the date of issue.

 

Eligible individuals are advised to make an appointment as soon as possible at their local GNIB Office to be granted this permission. Those attending an appointment should bring their current, in-date passport, their most recent valid in-date letter of permission under the AWS Scheme, and their current IRP card (if applicable).

 

Any crew member whose AWS permission expired on or before the 31st of December 2022, and who has not renewed their permission, will not be eligible for the granting of a Stamp 4 permission. We find this to be a very disappointing decision as many persons who have worked for many years under the AWS who may have fallen out of the system through no fault of their own are not included in this policy and will be required to continue to  make their own individual cases to the Minister for Justice for Stamp 4 permission.

 

The full announcement from the Department of Justice can be found here:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/sea-fishers-atypical-working-scheme-update/

 

Information regarding the closure of the Atypical Working Scheme can be found here:

 

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/closure-of-the-atypical-scheme-aws-for-non-eea-crew-in-the-irish-fishing-fleet/

 

This blog article has been prepared on the basis of current immigration law and policy, which is subject to change. Please keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page where articles relating to updates and changes in immigration law and policy are regularly posted.

RECENT HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT- REFUSAL OF TRAVEL VISA FOR EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDER

RECENT HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT – REFUSAL OF TRAVEL VISA FOR EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDER

Ms Justice Bolger of the High Court has recently delivered a judgement in the case of S v Minister for Justice [2022] IEHC 578.

 

The case concerned an Indian citizen who was granted a work permit to take up a position as a tandoori chef. The Applicant then applied for a visa to enable him enter Ireland to take up this employment position, but his visa application was refused. The Applicant appealed against this refusal; his appeal was also unsuccessful.

 

The Applicant initiated Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court to challenge the Minister’s decision, seeking an order of certiorari to quash the decision. Ms Justice Bolger found for the applicant and granted the order quashing the decision.

 

The Minister refused the visa application on the basis that there was insufficient documentation submitted in support of the application. The Minister stated that there were inconsistencies and contradictions in the information supplied. Lastly, the Minister stated that the visa sought was for a specific purpose and duration, and the applicant had not satisfied the visa officer that such conditions would be observed. The Minister highlighted that the applicant had not provided sufficient evidence that they had the appropriate skills, knowledge, or experience for taking up the employment position in Ireland.

 

The appeal was also refused on the basis that the applicant had not addressed the refusal reasons listed in the refusal letter. The Minister relied on evidence from a telephone interview with the applicant in which he was asked what type of food he would be cooking, to which he replied, “Indian breads.” The applicant was then asked about cooking other dishes such as chicken tikka and he confirmed that this was not part of his job as a tandoori chef but that he had a basic knowledge of this type of cooking.

 

The Court found that the appeals decision did not state what documentation was missing from the applicant’s application, nor was missing documentation identified during the application or appeal process. The Minister’s deponent swore an affidavit in the proceedings which took issue with the applicant’s failure to submit a supplementary form that was required by the Minister. It was further highlighted that payslips, tax forms and evidence of experience or qualifications were missing, however this was raised for the first time after judicial review proceedings were initiated.

 

The Court found that it was unreasonable for the decision maker to dismiss the applicant’s two work references because of an absence of a website. The decision maker had claimed the lack of a website meant they were unable to check the references, when one written reference may have included a website and both references included mobile numbers which were not checked by the Minister.

 

Regarding the alleged inconsistencies in the application, the Court found that it was unclear from the appeal decision what these inconsistencies were. The decision maker had concluded based off the interview that the applicant could not provide detailed recipes for food which he would be required to cook in Ireland. The Court found that this was not a reasonable conclusion for the decision maker to reach, as the applicant’s work permit made it clear that his job was to make specialty tandoori bread, which the employer was satisfied the applicant had sufficient experience in. The applicant never claimed he would be required to cook chicken tikka or chicken dishes in Ireland and there was therefore no need to question him about his experience in this regard.

 

The Court found that a work permit does not constitute prima facie evidence that the applicant has the skills and experience required, to the point that the Minister for Justice cannot look behind the grant of the permit or require an applicant for a visa to show they are qualified to do the job for which they were granted the permit, in the assessment of the visa application to enter Ireland. However, the Court found that it also cannot simply be ignored.

 

The Court further found that there were no reasons or explanations given for the Minister’s decision that the applicant had not satisfied the visa officer that the conditions of the visa would be observed. The Court found that the reasons set out in the appeal decision were very brief. Ms Justice Bolger highlighted that the reasons set out in the decision fell well short of what is required.

 

This case raises the interesting conflict that can arise when a person has been granted an employment permit and requires an employment visa to enter the State.

 

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment have responsibility for the issuance of employment permits. When a person has been granted an employment permit is a national of a country that requires an entry visa to enter Ireland, their application to enter Ireland for the purpose of employment is again subjected to a review by the Minister for Justice in their visa application.

 

It is the Minister for Justice who has responsibility for the issuance of visas and immigration permissions.  In our experience the Minister for Justice does not limit her assessment of the visa application to immigration matters only and will often undertake an examination of the applicant’s suitability for the employment position they have been issued an employment permit for.

 

It is a very unfortunate and regrettable position for a person who has been successful in obtaining an employment permit to come and work in Ireland to then be refused entry to the State to take up that employment due to concerns raised by visa officers as to the applicant’s suitability for an employment position.

 

This blog article has been prepared on the basis of current immigration law and policy, which is subject to change. Please keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page where articles relating to updates and changes in immigration law and policy are regularly posted.

EMPLOYMENT PERMITS NOW OPEN TO HEALTHCARE ASSISTANTS

In an announcement published on 14th June 2021, Minister Damien English confirmed that healthcare assistants will now be eligible to apply for employment permits in the State.

Eligibility for employment permits in Ireland is determined by the critical skills list and ineligible occupations list which are reviewed twice a year.

In deciding to remove healthcare assistants from the ineligible list it was noted that:

‘evidence within the healthcare sector suggest increasing competition for skilled candidates in several healthcare roles.’

In order to be eligible applicants must have a QQI Level 5 qualification after two years of employment.

Minister English commented that:

‘Our economic migration policy accommodates the arrival of non-EEA nationals to fill skills and labour gaps in the domestic economy in the short to medium term.’

The full announcement can be read at:

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/ab8d7-minister-damien-english-announces-changes-to-the-employment-permits-system/

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are affected by this notice or by the matters raised in this blog.

IMMIGRATION SERVICE DELIVERY ANNOUNCES CHANGE OF PERMISSION APPLICATIONS CAN BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY UNTIL 20TH MAY 2020

Immigration Service Delivery issued a new notice on 27th April 2020 confirming that a number of change of permission applications may be submitted electronically on a temporary basis until 20th May 2020.

The notice confirms as follows:

“In light of the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as a temporary measure between now and 20th May 2020, applications for the following change of permissions may be submitted electronically to the Registration Office, Burgh Quay, Dublin ([email protected]):

 

From Stamp To Stamp
Stamp 1 (Critical Skill Employment Permit) Stamp 4 (after 2 completed years on CSEP and DBEI Stamp 4 support letter)
Stamp 1 (Employment Permit) Stamp 4 (after 5 completed years on Employment Permits)
Stamp 2 Stamp 1 (Employment Permit)
Stamp 2 Stamp 1A (Trainee Accountant Contract)
Stamp 1, 2 or 3 Stamp 1G (Spouse of Critical Skill Employment Permit holder)
Stamp 1, 2 or 3 Stamp 4 (Spouse of Irish National)

 All required documentation should be scanned and included in the application. All eligibility criteria will continue to apply.

 Where a permission has been granted, applicants will still be required to register the change as normal once the Registration Office in Burgh Quay and local Registration Offices reopen.”

 

This is a positive development for any clients who wish to submit an application for change of permission and who fall within the categories listed in the notice.

Our office continues to act for many clients who have pending immigration applications, and we are continuing to liaise with INIS on behalf of our clients as normal.

The full notice can be read here.

If you would like more information regarding an application for change of permission, please contact our office.

RECENT REFUSALS OF EMPLOYMENT PERMIT VISAS

HIGH COURT DECISION ON REFUSAL OF EMPLOYMENT PERMIT FOR TRAINEE ACCOUNTANT

On 25th March 2020, Mr Justice Heslin delivered his judgment in Julia Olivera Rodriguez v The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

This case concerned a Venezuelan national with a BSc. Degree in Public Accounting from Venezuela and a Certificate in Business Accounting which she obtained in Ireland through the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in May 2018.

Ms Rodriguez’s application for an Employment Permit for the role of Trainee Accountant was refused by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation on the basis that the position of Trainee Accountant does not fall within the list of eligible categories of employment, as set out in the Employment Permits Regulations, 2017.

Ms Rodriguez challenged this decision in the High Court, arguing that the Minister had been incorrect in this finding and that the role of ‘Accountant’ should be interpreted to include those training for the position, as is the case in the UK.

Mr Justice Heslin in his decision stated:

“I am entirely satisfied that the 2017 Regulations cannot be interpreted in the manner in which the applicant contends. Doing so would involve this Court importing into the 2017 Regulations words which are simply not there and also ignoring the plain meaning of words which incontrovertibly appear in the 2017 Regulations.”

Mr Justice Heslin stated that the regulations very clearly set out employments of which there is a shortage and which are required for the proper functioning of the economy, including Accountants and Tax Consultants with particular specialisms and specified experience:

“Schedule 3 of the 2017 Regulations very clearly sets out those employments in respect of which there is a shortage in relation to “qualifications, experience or skills” required for the proper functioning of the economy and these include “Chartered and Certified Accountants” with particular specialisms, “Qualified Accountants” with particular experience and “Tax Consultants” with specified experience. As a matter of fact, the applicant falls into none of the categories specified in Schedule 3. For this Court to hold that she does, would be to do violence to the specific words used in Schedule 3 and would amount to this Court deciding, impermissibly, that someone who is unqualified comes within a category which explicitly addresses shortages in “qualifications”. This Court has no power to ignore the clear wording in Schedule 3 of the 2017 Regulations and to hold that shortages in the qualifications set out in Schedule 3 are met by unqualified persons.”

The court found that Ms Rodriguez does not fall within any of these categories and the decision to refuse her application for an Employment Permit was upheld.

The full text of the judgment can be found here.

If you would like more information on the application process for Employment Permits in Ireland, please do not hesitate to contact our office.