Critical Skills Employment Permits

The Critical Skills Employment Permit replaces the Green Card type employment permit. The Critical
Skills Employment Permit is designed to attract highly skilled people into the labour market with the
aim of encouraging them to take up permanent residence in the State.

Eligible occupations under this type of permit are deemed to be critically important to growing
Ireland’s economy, are highly demanded and highly skilled, and in significant shortage of supply in
our labour market.

Eligibility for a Critical Skills Employment Permit is largely determined by the type of occupation, and
proposed remuneration level. The following are eligible:

  •  Occupations with a minimum annual remuneration of €32,000 for a restricted number of

strategically important occupations contained in the Critical Skills Occupations List a relevant
degree qualification or higher is required.

  • In the case of a nurse or midwife, a third level degree or diploma accepted by the Nursing

and Midwifery Board of Ireland as a sufficient qualification for registration to practice as a
nurse or midwife in the State.

  • All occupations with a minimum annual remuneration of over €64,000, other than those on

the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits or which are contrary to the public
interest. A non-EEA national who does not have a degree qualification or higher, must have
the necessary level of experience.

  • The prospective employee concerned must have secured a 2-year job offer in respect of the

eligible occupation from the prospective employer.

Further criteria include:

The prospective employee concerned must possess the relevant qualifications, skills and experience
that are required for the employment.

An employment permit will not be granted to companies unless 50% or more of the employees in
the firm are EEA nationals at the time of application. However, this restriction may be waived in
respect of start-up companies within 2 years of their establishment (that is, registered as an
employer with Revenue) and which are supported by the enterprise development agencies,
Enterprise Ireland, or IDA Ireland (this applies to client companies of Enterprise Ireland or IDA
Ireland only).

The full details of what is required are set out on the application form and include:

A full description of the proposed employment,
Starting date,
Annual remuneration excluding bonuses, and
Information in respect of the qualifications, skills or experience required for the employment.

The application process
An application for any employment permit must be received at least 12 weeks before the proposed
employment start date.

An application for a Critical Skills Employment Permit can be made online on the Employment
Permits Online System. There is a User Guide (PDF document) available on the online system which
guides the applicant through the process and details the documentary requirements for each
employment permit type.

Before you start your application please see our Critical Skills Employment Permit Checklist (PDF
document) which will assist the process.

There are up to three stages in the passage of an employment permit application:

Application received (awaiting processing): Once an application is submitted and the associated fees,
if appropriate, are recorded the application is then placed in the relevant processing queue
depending on the Employer type, that is, Trusted Partner or Standard. Please note that applications
are processed strictly in date order by Employer Type and applicants can keep track of our current
processing dates. They can also check the progress of their specific application online on our Online
Status Update Enquiry facility.

Processing stage: This stage is where the application is considered by a decision maker, an official
with decision making authority. The processor may request additional information, if required,
which should be returned within 28 days. The processor will then either grant an application or
refuse it for specific reasons.

Review: Where an applicant wishes a refusal decision to be reviewed then he/she may do so within
28 days on the prescribed Submission of a Decision for Review Form. The review will be considered
by a separate and more senior official. The confirmation of a refusal decision on review does not
preclude the applicant from submitting a new application following all of the relevant procedures for
the specific employment permit type.