IRELAND – Recent Immigration Developments
The Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) has implemented a new online status enquiry facility for checking the status of employment permit applications.
There have also been some changes to the highly skilled Eligible List and Ineligible List.
Finally, we have an update on the recent processing times for employment permits and EU treaty applications.
Online Status Update Enquiries
This facility has been introduced in advance of the introduction of an online system for employment permit applications, expected later in 2016.
An applicant must complete an online form here. They will receive an automated response, informing them of the current stage of processing of their application and, where possible, an indication of how much longer it will take for a decision to be made.
Occupations Added to Eligible List
The following occupations have been added to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupation List:
- Material Scientists and Industrial Pharmacists;
- Perfusionists and Gastro Intestinal technologists/physiologists;
- International marketing experts with required domain knowledge specialising in product strategy development and management with technical and product/service knowledge (pharmaceutical, medical devices, Software B2B, SaaS products);
In addition, an explicit reference to “analytical development” has been added to the niche areas under SOC 211 Natural and Science Professionals.
Occupations Removed from Ineligible List
The following occupations have been removed from the Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL):
- Tourist guides with non-EEA languages
- Aircraft Maintenance and related trades
- MIG/TIG welders
- Computer Numerical Control operatives.
Prospective applicants should note that, where an occupation which has become eligible is subject to a Labour Market Needs Test, this test should not be commenced prior to the occupation’s removal from the ICEL (e.g. in this case, 1 February 2016).
Processing Times of Employment Permits
Processing of most standard categories of employment permit processed at the DJEI is currently taking between six and eight weeks, depending on the type of application.
Processing times have not improved since before the Christmas period, and are not likely to improve in the near future due to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day and Easter holidays.
For a full list of processing dates please see here.
Processing Times of EU Treaty Applications
There has also been a slowdown in the processing of European Union (EU) treaty applications for dependents and spouses of EU nationals which is processed by the EU Treaty Office, INIS.
This delay in processing affects both the granting of temporary permission to remain, which is taking from 12 to 15 weeks, and also the processing of the final decision, which is currently taking between seven and eight months.
These delays in processing are due to the significant increase in EU treaty applications in recent months. Please note that Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) offices will not grant temporary stamps to cover the processing period if the stamp or GNIB card is out of date.
However, non EEA nationals are allowed to remain while waiting for a final decision. As a result, it is advisable for non-EEA nationals whose temporary GNIB cards have expired, or are due to expire, to refrain from travel outside Ireland until their permanent permission has been granted and their renewed GNIB cards have been issued.
- Ensure that non-EEA nationals waiting for a decision in their EU treaty application do not commit to travel until permission to remain has been granted;
- Note the changes to the eligible and ineligible occupations lists.