IRELAND – Stamp 4 Processing Delays and New Deadlines
Effective immediately, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) is now requesting that Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holders apply for their Stamp 4 permission four months in advance of the expiry date of their CSEP, (i.e., once they have completed 20 months on their employment permit).
Previously, CSEP holders had to complete 21 months before applying for a Stamp 4 permission. The change is due to an increase in Stamp 4 processing times (currently ten weeks on average), as the DBEI has recently focused on reducing employment permit processing times.
The DBEI states that “no person awaiting a decision in relation to a Stamp 4 application in these circumstances will be asked to cease work or to leave the country”.
What is Stamp 4?
Stamp 4 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a specified period. It allows a holder of a CSEP for two years, or a general employment permit for five years, to remain in Ireland for a further two years (renewable) and work without a work permit, after their CSEP has expired.
To qualify, applicants must be resident and working in Ireland for at least 20 months out of the 24 months validity of the CSEP.
The employee’s details in the Stamp 4 application must be the same as for the original CSEP - job title, duties, location and remuneration. If these details have changed it could lead to a refusal, and a new Critical Skills Employment Permit would be required.
If the applicant’s remuneration is lower than for the original CSEP, the application may be refused outright. If remuneration is significantly higher, an explanation should be provided, as it could be seen as a new role.
- Critical Skills Employment Permit applicants and their employers are encouraged to contact their immigration specialist to initiate their Stamp 4 application at least 6 months before their employment permit expires.