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IRELAND – Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals Granted Full Access to Labour Market

The Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland has announced that, effective retrospectively to 1 January 2012, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals no longer require employment permits to take up employment in Ireland.

Why Have Processes Changed?

In the Accession Treaty of 2005, which concerned the implementation of the 2007 EU enlargement to include Bulgaria and Romania, existing EU member states were given the right to impose transitional measures on the two new EU member states prior to granting full freedom of movement and employment rights. Such transitional measures were limited to seven years in total: an initial period of two years, and extension of a further three years, and then a further and final extension of two years only if proof could be provided that the entrance of workers from the new member states would have a seriously negative impact on the labour market of the host country.

Ireland has reviewed its situation with regard to Bulgarians and Romanians in recent years and has concluded that the current population of nationals from these countries is low (having fallen by approximately 3000 people between 2008 and 2011) and that numbers of applications for employment permits for nationals of these countries are also falling. Therefore, restrictions are no longer warranted.

Is a Registration Required?

European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are not required to register their presence in Ireland but may make a notification to the Department of Justice or to the Embassy of their nationality if they wish to have evidence of their stay in Ireland for personal reasons.

What About Current Applications?

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is currently writing to all Bulgarian and Romanian nationals who applied for an employment permit in 2012 to outline how the decision may impact them.

Action Items

  • Note that, effective immediately, employment permits are no longer required for Bulgarian or Romanian nationals moving to Ireland.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.