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Ireland Seasonal Work VIsa

Individuals who are considered to be non-EEA nationals require an employment permit to work in Ireland. Employment permits in Ireland are processed by DETE (the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment). The applicant must apply for the relevant employment permit when offered a job.

Acquiring an employment permit in Ireland can be complex, and completing the application can be difficult. This is why it is always advisable to seek out legal help in doing so. Here at IAS, we can help you obtain your Irish Seasonal Employment Permit. Just give us a call at +353 061 518 025.

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    The Irish Seasonal Employment Permit Overview

    The Irish government previously announced a new seasonal employment permit, which was included in the employment permits bill. This employment permit allows third-country nationals to work on a short-term basis, seasonally, in Ireland. However, the types of employment and employers approved for this are specific.

    This type of visa is available for jobs in Ireland and falls into the general employment permit visa category. Only non-EEA nationals can apply for this visa.

    The seasonal employment permit is available for work types that can include home carer employment permits, health care assistance employment permits, chef employment permits, horticultural workers, and so on.

    Ireland issues both work visas and work permits; these are different. A visa is issued by the Irish government, allowing applicants to enter the country to work in Ireland. Yet, work permits are issued by the Irish Department of Enterprise Trade, allowing citizens to work specific jobs in the country.

    This type of work permit falls into the General Employment Permit category. It is a permit that enables non-EEA nationals to take up employment in Ireland and is open to all occupations. However, several highly skilled occupations are not eligible for this permit as they are on the Ineligible Occupations List.

    To be eligible for any employment permit that falls under the General Employment Permit System, an applicant has to be employed in an occupation that is considered eligible. They must also receive a salary of no less than €30,000 per year.

    However, be aware that this permit is not one of the permits that are available to self-employed individuals or any applicants who wish to take up employment as an intern. There are other work permits available for these types of work.

    The primary attraction of this permit is that this type of permit generally has a larger range of occupations that fall into this category than in other classes of employment permits.

    To apply for a permit that falls under the General Employment Permit System, either the foreign national or their prospective employer could apply. The permit will be issued to the foreign national, and a certified copy will be sent over to the employer, permitting employment in the state by the employer in the role that is specified on the permit.

    This type of employment permit system enables migrant workers to join the Irish labour market.

    However, it is also worth noting that the General Employment Permit is very different from the Critical Skills Employment Permit; this permit enables eligible occupations listed, while the General Employment Permit enables all other occupations.

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      Seasonal Employment Permit Eligibility Criteria

      Since the Seasonal Employment Permit falls under the category of a General Employment Permit, these permits are applied with the same employment rules as those of the General Employment Permit.

      In general, for a General Employment Permit as a seasonal worker, the applicant must have the following:

      • A valid entry visa, if required.
      • A valid employment permit.
      • A certificate of registration known as the Irish Residence Permit is issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) or a local immigration officer upon arrival in the country.

      In regards to the eligibility criteria for the seasonal worker permit, general employment rules apply. Due to the absence of any specific rules for seasonal workers, always assume general employment rules apply instead.

      This means that the eligibility permissions that apply are the same for migrant workers applying for a General Employment Permit.

      General Employment Permits are available for employed workers who are granted employment in Ireland with a minimum salary of €30,000, not including bonuses.

      An application for a job with an annual salary below this amount may be considered in some specific cases, such as:

      • The applicant is a non-EEA student who has graduated in the last 12 months from a third-level Irish institute and has been offered employment at a graduate position from the Critical Skills Employment Permit List.
      • The applicant is a non-EEA student who has graduated in the last 12 months from a third-level institution overseas. The applicant has been offered a graduate position working as an ICT professional on the Critical Skills Occupations List.
      • The applicant is for a specialist language support role or technical or sales support and has fluency in a non-EEA language, except English. The application is directed to companies that are supported by the state enterprise development agency, and the role is in one of the following fields:
        • Customer service or sales role with relevant knowledge of the products.
        • A specialist working in online digital marketing or a similar sales role.
        • A specialist in language support and technical sales support work.
      • Employment working as a boner (meat) where the minimum salary offered is €27,500.
      • Employment working in horticulture. Alternatively, roles as a meat processor operative or as a dairy farm assistant with a minimum annual salary offered at €22,000.

      Non-EEA applicants that have stamps 1, 1A, 1G, 2, 2G, or 3 (residence permission) can apply for General Employment Permits provided that the role they are filling is not listed on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits.

      Employer Eligibility Criteria

      Since the Seasonal Employment Permit uses the same criteria as the General Employment Permit in Ireland, unless otherwise stated during the application, employers must meet the criteria stated for this permit system.

      Employers need to meet the criteria stated to be able to hire new employees via this permit. These criteria include:

      • The employer needs to be registered with the Irish Registry Commissioners and Companies Registration Office (if required).
      • The employer must be currently operating within Ireland.
      • The employer intends to pay and provide the employee with a salary directly, to maintain a direct employee-employer relationship.
      • A minimum of 50% of the employees at the employer’s firm are EEA nationals. However, this ruling may be waived in certain situations, including:
        • The employer is a start-up business that has only been registered for 2 years or fewer, and they have a valid letter of support from IDA Ireland or Enterprise Ireland. Yet, the employee 50:50 rule must be met by the time that the permit needs to be renewed; otherwise, only a 1-year permit will be issued.
        • On the day of the employment application, the company has no employees, and the migrant workers will be the only employee(s), and the authorities are satisfied that the applying party will remain the only employee for an appropriate period.

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        How To Apply For The Irish Seasonal Employment Permit

        The first step to applying for a Seasonal Employment Permit is to ensure that you (the applicant) have secured a job offer with a viable employer that meets the requirements for the employment permits system in Ireland.

        Once a viable job has been offered, the applicant will need to collect a selection of documents to be submitted as part of the application process.

        The specifics of the documents included will depend entirely on the circumstances of the individual and those of the prospective employer. However, some of these documents can include the following:

        • A copy of the applicant’s valid passport.
        • A passport-sized photograph of the applicant, presented in line with the passport photo requirements in Ireland.
        • A copy of the contract for work signed by both the employer and employee.
        • A copy of an existing Irish immigration visa or stamp, if applicable.
        • A valid copy of the AWS permission letter is required if the applicant is already employed under Ireland’s Atypical Working Scheme.
        • Details of a contact person as designated by the employer.
        • The relevant pin, registration, or licence number of the employer as issued by the regulatory body as relevant.
        • A copy of the company’s letter of support from IDA Ireland or Enterprise Ireland, if necessary.
        • Proof that the employer advertised the role that the applicant will be taking in a national newspaper for at least three days.
        • Details that cover any previous Irish visas the applicant applied for, regardless of whether they were received or rejected.
        • Proof that the employer advertised the job that the applicant will be taking with the Department of Social Protection Employment Services or via the EURES Employment Network for at least 14 days
        • Details of the employer’s registered and trading name, as well as the nature and type of business they run. Additionally, provide proof of their P30 monthly returns.
        • Full details are disclosed of the intended employment, role specification, and duration.
        • A CE, or a CE1 licence, if the applicant is a qualified HGV driver and this is a relevant qualification for the role they will be taking.
        • If a Labour Market Needs Test is not required for this application, an explanation of why is required.

        Applications for this type of permit should be made online via the Irish Employment Permits Online System in Ireland.

        Any application should be completed and received by the authorities at least 12 weeks before the employment start date.

        The applicant must first complete the online application form. Once the form is completed and the fees paid as needed, the application will be prioritised for processing.

        Each application will be processed in order by date and by employer type. The applicant will also receive a link so that they can track the status of their specific application.

        After the submission, the application will be processed by the relevant authorities’ decision-maker. Further information may be required from the applicant. If further information is requested, then the details of this should be submitted within 28 days of the request being made.

        The decision-maker will either refuse or grant the application. If the application is refused, there will be reasoning provided.

        If the application is refused, the applicant may be eligible to appeal against this decision. Should the applicant wish to appeal the decision, they can do so within 28 days of receiving the refusal.

        Appeals need to be made using the Submission of a Decision for Review online service. By doing this, the application review will be conducted by a more senior and different decision-maker.

        Entry Visa (If Applicable)

        Those who still need to be in Ireland at the time of their application may require an entry visa to be able to enter the country once their permit is granted.

        Those who wish to travel to Ireland for less than 3 months need to apply for a short-stay visa (C). However, this visa does not allow stays in Ireland to exceed 3 months, and the applicant would need to leave Ireland and apply for a different visa to return. Most seasonal employment permits are not applicable to short-stay visas.

        However, those who wish to enter Ireland for over 3 months for work should apply for a long-stay visa (d). Those who are granted this visa can remain in the country for over 3 months.

        Alternatively, those who are conducting seasonal work in Ireland but may need to leave the country for work (for example, for a long-term multinational business) can benefit from re-entry multiple-entry visas.

        Through this visa, the first issued will be a single entry, and if you need to re-enter the country, another visa must be applied for. However, those who have had single-entry visas and have obeyed the conditions of this visa type can apply for multiple entries. This is also allowed for business purposes. Multiple-entry visas allow individuals to travel to Ireland on multiple occasions during the visa validity period.

        Note that it is not necessary to acquire a visa to enter Ireland if you are one of the following:

        • A citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
        • Have a residence card that has been issued by an EEA country or Switzerland, as you are the family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen who lives in a country outside of the family member’s home country.
        • If you have a UK short-stay visa and you qualify for the short-stay visa waiver or the British-Irish Visa Scheme.
        • You are a school student living in EU/EEA countries and are travelling on a school trip.
        • Some specific countries do not require a visa to travel to Ireland, including:
          • Argentina.
          • Japan.
          • Israel.
          • Brazil.
          • Mexico.
          • New Zealand.
          • Taiwan.
          • Ukraine.
          • South Africa.
          • Chile.
          • Singapore.
          • And others.

        Permit Validity & Renewals

        Since the Seasonal Employment Permit falls under the General Employment Permit category, it functions under the same rules.

        Employment permits in Ireland are first issued for no more than two years and can be renewed for a maximum of three years.

        Those who have held an employment permit in Ireland for five consecutive years and have been working lawfully may be eligible to apply for permission to work and reside in Ireland without the need for an employment permit.

        This applies both to those who are made redundant after five years of working on a permit and to those who are actively still in employment as well.

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          Rights Of Seasonal Workers In Ireland

          Those who are working in Ireland on a Seasonal Employment permit have certain rights during their employment period.

          Changing Employment

          • Workers can only work for the employer and in the occupation that is mentioned on the permit.
          • The worker can only change employers if a new application is made and granted for a new employment permit.
          • A change of employer is not allowed within the first 122 months of employment.
          • If the employee ceases employment with the employer listed on the permit, the original permit must be returned to the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation immediately.

          Unemployment Rights

          • If the worker loses their job through redundancy, they should notify the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation within 28 days of being made redundant.
            • Those who have worked on an employment permit for less than five years and are made redundant involuntarily should inform the Employment Permits Section of the authorities.
            • The applicant will have up to 6 months to look for another job and apply for a new employment permit.
            • Those who have been on an employment permit for over five years and are made redundant may be exempt from having to hold an employment permit and can instead apply for a Stamp 4 residence, which is granted subject to conditions and permissions.

          How IAS Can Help With The Irish Seasonal Employment Permit

          Employment permits in Ireland can be complex, and since the Season Employment Permit functions under the Rules for General Employment, this can be even more confusing.

          This is why it is advised to speak to one of our team members at IAS. We can help you understand the Irish permit system and guide you through your application. Just give us a call today at +353 061 518 025 to get legal help to start your application.

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