New Single Permit System for Work and Residence to Be Introduced in Ireland

In a move to streamline the process for individuals seeking to work and live in Ireland, the government has announced plans to implement a single permit system over the next three years. This system will allow both employment and residence permits to be obtained through a single application.

Currently, Ireland, along with Denmark, is one of the two EU member states without a unified permit system for employment and residence. However, following the recommendation of an inter-departmental working group established in December 2022, the government has decided to proceed with the implementation of this single permit system, with the ultimate goal of aligning with the EU Single Permit Directive.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee expressed her enthusiasm for the new system, emphasizing its potential to attract essential skills needed in sectors like healthcare and construction. Under the current process, applicants must apply separately to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for a work permit and then to the Department of Justice for a visa. The introduction of a single permit will simplify this process, reducing costs and administrative burdens for both employers and applicants.

Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Peter Burke highlighted the importance of attracting and retaining skilled workers in Ireland, especially in the face of demographic challenges and sustained full employment. Joining the Single Permit Directive will enable spouses or partners of workers to also contribute to the economy, further enhancing Ireland’s ability to meet its labor market needs across various sectors.

In addition to the single permit system, the government has announced changes that will allow spouses and partners of employment permit holders to work if they are already residing in the country with their family member. This adjustment aims to capitalize on the skills and experience of these individuals, making Ireland a more attractive destination for workers while providing opportunities for families to thrive.

Minister McEntee emphasized that these spouses and partners will now be able to work immediately without the need to visit an immigration office to change their permission status, ensuring a smoother transition into the workforce and facilitating greater economic participation.

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