IRELAND – Recent Immigration Developments
The Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) has announced that a new online employment permit application system will be implemented in September 2016.
In addition, effective 2 August 2016, there are several amendments to the regulations applying to employment permit applications, including further changes to the highly skilled Eligible List and Ineligible List.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INS) has announced that its long-awaited new online appointment booking system for GNIB registrations is expected to launch in late August.
Finally, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that the passport renewal process will be digitized from early 2017.
Upcoming Employment Permits Online System
The new Employment Permits Online System (EPOS) for the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) will be implemented for Employment Permits in September 2016, although a specific date has not yet been announced.
Once rolled out, employment permit applications and submission of supporting documentation can be made online via EPOS along with payments of fees (where applicable) by credit/debit card through a secure payment gateway.
DJEI claims that EPOS will offer:
- An intuitive online user experience;
- Ease of application completion with help information and relevant mandatory fields;
- Mandatory documentation identified per permit type with help information;
- Fast turnaround of applications.
DJEI is asking applicants to delay submitting new applications for employment permits during the month of August 2016, stating that applications can then be submitted online in “early September”.
Legislative Amendments for Employment Permits
The DJEI are introducing several changes to the legislation effective 2 August 2016:
- The minimum period a Trainee under the Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit Scheme is required to be in the employment of a foreign employer is reduced from 6 months to 1 month.
- Clarification on information to be submitted by employers who use the SEPA Direct Debit online facility to make returns to Revenue Commissioners.
- Where an application is made in respect of an occupation listed in Part C, Schedule 2 a copy of the foreign national’s registration with, or recognition of their qualifications by, an appropriate regulatory body or Minister listed in Part C is required to be provided with an application for grant or renewal of an employment permit.
- Where an application is made in respect of accountants working in MNC Global Audit Services, a copy of the foreign national’s registration with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) is required to be provided with such applications.
- Clarification provided that in in order to be eligible for an employment permit as an executive chef, head chef, sous chef or specialist chef each must be specialising in non-EEA cuisine.
- New employment permit application forms incorporating these changes will be made available from the Department shortly.
Changes to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL) and Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL)
- The following occupations, which are in short supply, have been added to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL):Paramedics; respiratory physiologists; accountants working in MNC Global Audit Services, and tax consultants specializing in non-EEA tax consultancy.
- The following occupation, which are in short supply, has been removed from the Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL):Legal associate professionals who are fluent in the official language, apart from English, of a state which is not a Member State of the EEA and who have market knowledge of the non-EEA state.
Applicants should ensure that a Labour Market Needs Test in respect of a vacancy for such a legal associate professional does not commence before 2 August 2016.
Appointment System for GNIB registration in Dublin
In line with the online appointment system for re-entry visa applications, introduced last September, Irish Naturalisation and Immigrations Services (INIS) have announced that they will be introducing an appointment system for applications for registration of residency at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) office in Burgh Quay, Dublin. The new system is expected to launch in late August and will offer appointments for early September.
At that point, the existing early morning ticketing system at the Burgh Quay office will end and all appointments will have to be made via the website. It will no longer be possible to make an appointment by queuing at the office.
Irish Passport Renewal Process
Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has announced that the passport renewal process will be digitized from early 2017. The new system should reduce paperwork and streamline the renewal process.
- If possible, applicants should avoid submitting new employment pass applications before September 2016;
- Employment pass applicants should be prepared for changes to document requirements and delays in processing as EPOS is implemented;
- Note the reduction in the minimum period a trainee is required to have been employed by the foreign employer;
- Note the changes to the eligible and ineligible occupations lists;
- Note that emergency and short-notice appointments for registration applications at the GNIB office in Dublin may become extremely difficult from late August.