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Dependant/Partner/Spouse Work Permit Ireland

The Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit in Ireland allows dependent family members of certain Irish employment permit holders to live and work in the country.

For more information and guidance about the Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit in Ireland and to receive bespoke advice from our team of immigration professionals, call us today on +353 061 518 025.

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    Can spouse/partner work on dependent visa in Ireland?

    If you are a dependent family member of a Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holder (previously, the Green Card type employment permit), or that of a Scientific Researcher on a Hosting Agreement, then you will be permitted to work in the Republic of Ireland (also referred to as the State) while you are a resident here and accompanying your CSEP holder/researcher family member.

    Spouses, Civil Partners or De Facto Partners

    On 6 March 2019, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) removed the requirement of an employment permit to work in the State for the spouses, civil partners and de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement. The goal was to streamline existing processes and attract international talent.

    Since that date, Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) grants eligible spouses, civil partners and de facto partners of CSEP holders and researchers on a Hosting Agreement permission to remain in Ireland on Stamp 1 conditions instead, which allows them to work in the country without an employment permit.

    Other Dependent Family Members

    Other dependent family members of a CSEP holder or researcher on a Hosting Agreement must have a job offer and apply for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit to take up employment in Ireland.

    ISD issues a Stamp 3 immigration permission to such dependent family members of a CSEP holder or researcher on a Hosting Agreement. Please note that a Stamp 3 permission will not entitle a foreign national to work in Ireland. They will have to accompany their CSEP holder or researcher on a Hosting Agreement family member as dependents to apply for an employment permit.

    When an employment permit is granted, the foreign national can apply to ISD to have their immigration status changed to a Stamp 1 permission.

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    Am I Eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit?

    Overview

    You will need to meet the following eligibility requirements to apply for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit in Ireland:

    • You are a foreign national who has been determined by the Department of Justice and Equality as a dependent family member (other than spouse/civil partner/de facto partner) of a CSEP holder or a researcher on a Hosting Agreement
    • You have resided in the State on a continual basis since your entry in Ireland
    • You are not pursuing full-time education
    • You reside in the State with your CSEP holder or the researcher on a Hosting Agreement family member
    • Your family member, who is a CSEP holder or a researcher on a Hosting Agreement, must still be working within the terms of their Employment Permit/Hosting Agreement, and have either:
      • A valid Critical Skills Employment Permit, or
      • Permission to reside in the State under the Scheme for admission of Third Country Researchers to Ireland (also referred to as a Hosting Agreement)

    Spouses, civil partners, or dependent family members of an Irish resident – who previously was a Green Card Employment Permit/CSEP holder or a researcher on a Hosting Agreement, but has now received permission from the Department of Justice to work in Ireland without an employment permit or Hosting Agreement – are also eligible to apply for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.

    Dependents/Spouses/Partners Not Eligible for Employment Permits

    Individuals belonging to the categories mentioned below are not eligible to apply for an employment permit:

    • Non-EEA (the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) spouses/civil partners or dependents of Irish citizens
    • Non-EEA spouses/civil partners or dependents of EU nationals
    • Non-EEA spouses/civil partners or dependents of non-EEA nationals who hold other classes of employment permits

    If you belong to any of the above categories, please get in touch with Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). INIS will determine the status of your relationship with the concerned Irish/EU/non-EEA national, and, accordingly, may provide you with the appropriate residency permission along with the permission to work in the State.

    What Is the Eligibility Criteria for Irish Employers?

    An Irish employer intending to employ a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit holder must meet the general terms and conditions set out for employers. Such terms and conditions intend to ensure that the employer is a genuine and legal business/organisation or eligible individual, to further assure that the rights of employees as recognised by the State will be adhered to.

    The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has specified a number of criteria for assessing employers:

    • Applications are accepted only from employers registered with the Revenue Commissioners and, where applicable, with the Companies Registration Office/Registry of Friendly Societies
    • Employers must be currently trading in the State
    • An employer-employee relationship must exist where the prospective employee concerned will be employed, salaried and paid directly by the employer
    • The employer must have at least 50% or more employees who are EEA nationals. An employment permit will not be issued otherwise, unless:
      • The employer has no other employees on the date of the application, and the foreign national will be the sole employee

    An exception to the 50:50 Rule will also apply at renewal provided the foreign national permit holder remains a sole employee.

    What Documents Do I Need for Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit?

    The required supporting documents include:

    • Proof of an existing job offer in Ireland, which must be for a minimum of 10 hours per week, and pay at least the Irish national minimum wage
    • Employer details
    • Employee details
    • Details of employment
    • Pay details
    • A letter from the employer of the CSEP holder/researcher on a Hosting Agreement family member, dated within the three months preceding the date of receipt of the Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit application, confirming that the CSEP holder/researcher is still in employment with them along with their job title

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      How to Apply for Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

      Applications for employment permits must be received at least 12 weeks before the proposed employment start date.

      You will need to apply online for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit on the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS). There is a user guide document on the DETE website to help you navigate through the process, which also provides details of the documentation requirements for each employment permit type.

      To begin with, please ensure that you have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of required documents, to upload on the application website.

      Next, please choose the employment permit form as applicable in your case from the website, such as the ‘Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit – Standard Employer (New)’ form or the ‘Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit – Trusted Partner (New)’ form.

      Alternatively, to renew your employment permit, you must choose either the ‘Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit – Standard Employer (Renewal)’ form or the ‘Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit – Trusted Partner (Renewal)’ form, as applicable.

      You will have to provide your current passport number, passport expiry date, and your name in the relevant fields first. Once these details are provided, the website will redirect you to the main form page, which comes with detailed instructions regarding how to fill up and submit the same.

      Processing Time for Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

      Once an application is submitted for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, it will be placed in the relevant processing queue depending on the employer type (i.e. Trusted Partner or Standard). All applications are processed in chronological order by employer type. You can check the progress of your application online.

      Next, an official with decision-making authority will consider your application. They may notify you if they require additional information to process your application. Please share the same with them within 28 days.

      The processor will then either grant your application, or refuse the same for specific reasons.

      Application Fees for Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

      There is no application or renewal fee for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.

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        What If My Application Is Successful?

        You must inform the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) if your employment permit application is successful.

        Please check with GNIB if you need to update your current permission to remain in Ireland.

        What If My Application Is Refused?

        To appeal for a review of the refusal decision, please do so within 28 days on the prescribed ‘Submission of a Decision for Review Form’. The review will be considered by a more senior official.

        If the refusal decision stays even after the review, you will need to submit a new application following the relevant procedures.

        How Can I Renew My Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit?

        The validity of a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit depends on the validity of the CSEP holder’s or researcher’s permit.

        A Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit can only be renewed till the:

        • expiry of the employment permit of the CSEP holder, or
        • expiry of the immigration stamp of the researcher on a Hosting Agreement, or
        • expiry of the immigration stamp of the family member who was previously a CSEP holder/researcher on a Hosting Agreement, and has now received permission from the Department of Justice and Equality to reside and work in the State without an employment permit

        A Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit can only be renewed for a maximum period of three years in all the above scenarios.

        A renewal application can be made online on EPOS within four months prior to the expiry of the existing permit or within a month of its expiry. You will need to submit the information and documentation as mentioned on EPOS.

        Applying for Stamp 4 After Five Years

        If you have held a valid Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit for a consecutive period of five years or more, you should reach out to the Department of Justice and Equality to apply for a temporary Stamp 4. If you are granted the same, you will not require an employment permit to work in Ireland.

        However, if you fail to meet the qualifying criteria for a temporary Stamp 4, you must apply for further renewal of your Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit or for another employment permit type, subject to your eligibility and personal circumstances.

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          How Long Must I Remain with My Employer?

          The first-time holder of a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit is expected to stay with the initial employer for a period of 12 months. A new employment permit application for a different employer will not be considered if the permit holder has worked for less than 12 months pursuant to the issue of an employment permit.

          However, a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit holder may be allowed to change employer if:

          • They have been made redundant by their employer
          • Unforeseen circumstances have arisen since the permission was granted, which have fundamentally changed the employment relationship

          Transfer of Undertakings for Dependants

          A Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit holder can change their employer in cases where a transfer of employment has taken place under the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003 (SI No 131 of 2003).

          Cancellation of Employment Permits

          Section 24(1) Employment Permits Act 2006 states that if a non-EEA national ceases to be employed by their employer during the validity period of their Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, they must return the permit and the employer’s certified copy to the DETE within four weeks from the date of cessation.

          The status of such returned permits will be changed to ‘Cancelled’ in the Employment Permits Management System, and they will no longer be valid.

          Employees as well as employers who fail to comply with this rule are guilty of an offence.

          How Can IAS Help?

          The Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit allows dependent family members of certain Irish employment permit holders to lawfully work in the State.

          Even if you meet the eligibility criteria, you must pay due diligence while completing the online employment permit application form and arranging for supporting documents. Your application may be refused if you submit an incomplete or incorrect form, or fail to submit all required documents.

          Speak to IAS.

          Our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers have the required expertise to assist you with your Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit application, regardless of your circumstances or the complexity of your case.

          If you are seeking overall advice with your Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit application or you would like an immigration expert to complete your application on your behalf, we are happy to help. We provide application services where our specialists can guide you through each stage of your application.

          We also offer document and application checking services if you just need a final check to confirm that your documents and application adhere to DETE regulations.

          To know more about the services we provide and how we can help you, please call us on +353 061 518 025 today to speak to our team of legal advisers.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Yes. A Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit can only be issued to you if you are residing in the State on the basis of being a dependent family member of a CSEP holder/researcher on a Hosting Agreement.

                    Applications for Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits for dependent family members residing outside the State are not accepted. However, such dependents may apply for a different type of employment permit in Ireland, subject to applicable terms and conditions.

                    Yes. If you hold a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit in Ireland, you can apply for any job vacancy except that of a domestic operative.

                    If the holder of a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit separates from their CSEP holder/researcher on a Hosting Agreement family member, they will not be able to renew their Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.

                    However, if they can obtain permission from the Department of Justice to remain in Ireland in their own right, they may apply for a different type of employment permit, provided they meet the eligibility criteria and other requirements.

                    Since 1 January 2023, the national minimum wage in Ireland is €11.30 per hour. If you hold a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, your employer cannot pay you less than that or expect you to do any unpaid work for them.

                    Additionally, you are protected by law from victimisation or dismissal if you ask your employer to pay the minimum wage. You can bring a claim for unfair dismissal if so happens, irrespective of your length of employment with the concerned employer.

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