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