What is the Critical Skills Employment Permit?
If you are looking to relocate to the Republic of Ireland for employment, you must ensure that you first obtain the relevant employment permit for your work.
Employment permits allow you to legally work in Ireland. There are a number of different permits; you must apply for the one that is most relevant to your occupation and personal circumstances.
The Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP), for example, is specifically for those who are deemed ‘highly skilled’ workers in occupations that are considered critically important to growing Ireland’s economy. This includes the likes of professional engineers, technologists, ICT professionals, certain health professionals and more.
The Irish government regularly updates a list of Critical Skills occupations, which outlines the exact roles that would be permitted for this employment permit.
Am I eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit?
Eligibility for a Critical Skills Employment Permit depends on your personal circumstances and most importantly whether your job is considered critical to growing the Irish economy.
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation will assess your application, determining whether you qualify for the employment permit based on whether you meet the criteria. It is often advisable to speak with a qualified immigration lawyer before submitting your application, as they can help you to prepare it to the highest standard.
A key requirement of the CSEP is that you have received a job offer from a valid employer that is based in and trading in Ireland. This employer must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners and Companies Registration Office/Register of Friendly Societies.
Another crucial element of the CSEP eligibility criteria is your proposed salary and relevant qualifications, skills and experience.
Your Ireland-based employer must have offered you an annual salary of at least €38,000 for strategically important occupations listed in the Critical Skills Occupations List (figure correct as of January 2024; this figure will be set to rise to €44,000 by January 2025). For this job type, a relevant degree or higher qualification is necessary.
Other occupations with a minimum annual income of over €64,000 require the applicant to have either a degree qualification/higher or the required level of experience.
Your job offer must also be for a period of at least 2 years.
What are the benefits of a Critical Skills Employment Permit in Ireland?
Critical Skills Employment Permits in Ireland come with a wide range of benefits. These are typically highly sought after roles that the Irish economy would benefit from, meaning the Irish government is inclined to encourage these highly skilled individuals to live and work in the State.
Once your Critical Skills Employment Permit is issued, you can enjoy the many benefits it brings. These include:
- Employment permit holders can apply for immediate family reunification
- Once the individual’s dependants/partners/spouses are resident in the State they are eligible to apply for any employment and can apply to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, free of charge
- Once CSEP holders have completed the duration of their permit, they are able to apply to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for permission to reside and work in Ireland without the requirement for an employment permit
Perhaps one of the main benefits of the Critical Skills Employment Permit when applying is that it is not necessary for a Labour Market Needs Test to be carried out.
This is because roles under the CSEP are automatically identified as being in short supply. Not having to undergo a Labour Market Needs Test saves time and should speed up the application process.
Do I need to stay with the same employer for the duration of my Critical Skills Employment Permit?
Another key benefit of the CSEP is that permit holders are not required to stay with the same employer for the entire duration of this permit.
It is required that the CSEP holder stays with the initial employer for at least one year. However, after this time, if the employee wishes, they can change to a different employer.
This will require applying for a new employment permit but is certainly an option for those who wish to work elsewhere.
A new employment permit for a different employer cannot be granted if it has been less than 12 months since the permit holder first commenced employment in Ireland with their original employer.
This is largely down to the costs involved in recruiting a foreign national, therefore the permit holder must stay with the employer for a reasonable amount of time before moving on.
Under specific circumstances, however, you may switch employers before the initial 12 month period is up. This will only occur if:
- You have been made redundant
- Circumstances arise that fundamentally change the employment relationship
When should I apply for the CSEP?
In normal circumstances, the Critical Skills Employment Permit should be applied for at least 12 weeks before any proposed employment is due to commence.
This allows plenty of time for your application to be processed.
If you require professional assistance with the Critical Skills Employment Permit application process, our friendly team of immigration lawyers would be happy to help.
We have submitted countless CSEP applications, ensuring applicants meet the necessary requirements and that they have proved to INIS that they are eligible for this permit.
When submitting your application, we will send it with a Letter of Representation which outlines the strengths of your application and why we believe you ought to be granted this permit.
Contact IAS Ireland on +353 (0) 615 180 25.