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Coronavirus and Work Permit holders in Ireland

Posted on April 22, 2020
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Ireland work visa

The impact of COVID-19 has forced many countries across the world to impose travel restrictions. Ireland too has introduced several rules regarding movement of individuals. This has led to many questions among visa holders and immigrants in the country. Here we will try and answer the common queries of work visa holders in Ireland in the current situation.

Work permits for Ireland:

If you are from a non-EU country, you must have a work permit before going to Ireland.  There are two types of work permits:

  1. Ireland General Employment Permit
  2. Ireland Critical Skills Employment Permit

1. Ireland General Employment Permit:

This permit allows you to work in a job in Ireland which pays at least 30,000 Euros. Before applying for the visa, you must have a job offer. You can apply for this visa, or your employer can. Your job term will consist of two years or more. To apply for this visa, you must have a degree relevant to the job for which you were selected.

This permit lets you work in Ireland in a job that pays a minimum of 30,000 Euros. You must have a job offer before applying for this visa. You or your employer can apply for this visa. The tenure of your job should be two years or more. To qualify for this visa, you must have a degree that is related to the job you have been selected for.

This visa is valid for 2 years and can be extended for another 3 years. You may apply for long-term residence in the country after five years on this work permit.

2. Ireland Critical Skills Employment Permit:

It is a work permit dependent on the job offer. You are eligible for this work permit provided that your job pays you 600,000 pounds per year, or at least 300,000 pounds per year if your position is on the Highly Skilled Occupations List in Ireland. Either you can apply for this visa, or your employer.

The permit is valid for two years. Your contract of employment will specify that you will be working for a period of two years. Immigrants can apply for Stamp 4 after two years, after which they can permanently stay and work in Ireland.

COVID-19 and work visa changes

Preference to medical professionals:

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland, the Department has prioritized the review of applications for medical professionals for work permits and these applications will continue to be prioritized. At this stage, all applications for medical personnel have been placed first in the processing queue.

New employees with work permit:

Immigrants who have already secured a work permit will not be able to come to Ireland at present. To help them the government has allowed Irish employers to change the start of the employment contract date.

Work permit holders with an approaching expiration date:

The department has extended immigration permits due to expire between 20/03/20 and 20/05/20 by two months if there are delays in processing work permit renewal applications and Stamp 4 letters of support, job permit holders may continue to live and work under the same terms and conditions as indicated in their current  permit.

Renewal of work permits:

Immigrants who want to renew their work permits can make an application either four months prior to the expiration of their permit or within one month after their permit has expired. The department will follow the usual timeline for renewal in case the situation returns to normal. However, if the situation does not return to normal, the permit will be granted an extension.

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