Immediate Access to Irish Labour Market for Spouses & Partners of Critical Skills Employment Holders

7 March 2019

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and The Minister for Justice and Equality recently announced a change to the arrangements concerning access to the Irish labour market for the spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit (“CSEP”) holders.

The change means that as of 6 March 2019 the spouse or partner of a CSEP holder will no longer need an employment permit to begin working in the State.

Previously, the spouse or partner of a CSEP holder was permitted to apply for a Dependant Partner or Spouse Employment Permit (after they obtained Stamp 3 permission and only on foot of a job offer). This arrangement has previously made obtaining work unduly difficult for the spouses and partners of CSEP holders.

The change will now allow the spouse or partner of a CSEP holder to reside in the State under Stamp 1 immigration conditions. Stamp 1 holders have direct access to the Irish labour market without the need for an employment permit.

The change also addresses the position of spouses or partners of CSEP holders who are currently in the State on a Stamp 3 immigration permission. They can attend at their local immigration office with the CSEP holder and the original permit and obtain a new Residency Permit under Stamp 1 conditions. Once the Stamp 3 holder has a valid, in date Irish Residency Permit there is no charge payable in obtaining an updated Stamp 1 residency permit.

Please note that the requirement for a visa required-national, who is the spouse or partner of a CSEP holder, to obtain an entry visa before arrival in the State is not affected.

The new arrangement represents good news for employers as it removes the administrative burden in employing the spouse or partner of a CSEP holder.

The new arrangement is also good news for CSEP applicants and their spouses and partners as the change allows them to travel in the knowledge that the spouse or partner will be in a position to take up employment in the State as soon as they obtain their Stamp 1 Irish Resident Permit.

For further information, contact David Cantrell, Immigration Partner or another member of the Immigration Team at Eugene F. Collins.

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