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Critical Skills Employment Permit

The Critical Skills Employment Permit allows foreign citizens who are highly skilled to come to Ireland to work. Find out more about the eligibility requirements and the application process.

To receive assistance with your application, call our immigration experts today on (+353) 061 518 025.

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    What is the Critical Skills Employment Permit?

    The Critical Skills Employment Permit is an employment permit intended for those who are deemed to be highly skilled or those who will be earning above a certain threshold.

    If your application for the Critical Skills Employment Permit is successful, you can apply for immediate family reunification. That means that your spouse or partner, as well as dependent children can join you in Ireland. Once they are in Ireland, they can apply for an Employment Permit for free.

    In addition to that, after you have lived in Ireland under the Critical Skills Employment Permit for a certain period of time, you will be able to apply for permission to live and work in Ireland without having to have an employment permit.

    Who can apply for the Critical Skills Employment Permit?

    Only those who work in occupations deemed to be highly skilled are eligible for the Critical Skills Employment Permit. Moreover, they need to work in professions that are in shortage in the Irish labour market and are important to Ireland’s economy.

    You can apply for the Critical Skills Employment Permit if your job belongs to one of the following categories:

    • Professions with an annual salary of at least €64,00 except for jobs that have been placed on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits
    • Professions with an annual salary of at least €38,000 (as of January 2024; this is set to rise to €44,000 by January 2025) that have been added to the Critical Skilled Occupations List.

    You can also be eligible for this permit if you are a non-EEA national with 1, 1A, 2, 2A, or 3 immigration stamps and you have been offered a job in an occupation on the Highly Skilled Occupations List.

    critical skills visa

    What are the job offer criteria for the Critical Skills Employment Permit?

    To make you eligible for the Critical Skills Employment Permit, your job offer in Ireland has to meet the following criteria:

    • The employer who offered you the job is trading in Ireland and is registered with Revenue and the Companies Registration Office
    • You will be directly employed and paid by the employer in Ireland
    • The job offer is for at least two years.

    Additional criteria include:

    • The applicant has to be able to prove that they have relevant qualifications, skills, and work experience
    • The employment permit will not be granted to companies if their workforce does not comprise at least 50% EEA nationals.

    Keep in mind that jobs offered through recruitment agencies are not accepted under the Critical Skills Employment Permit.

    Our Immigration experts can review the job offer you hold to verify whether it meets the criteria for the Critical Skills Employment Permit. If they determine that you are eligible for it, they will help you complete your application to the highest standard.

    job criteria

    What is the application process for the Critical Skills Employment Permit?

    There are three main steps in the application process for the Critical Skills Employment Permit.

    First, you need to complete the application form online using the Employment Permits Online System. There you have to provide details regarding your skills and qualifications and your proposed employment in Ireland. You have to state the date of your intended arrival and the remuneration that you will be receiving.

    After you submit the online application, it will be placed in the relevant processing queue depending on the type of employer.

    Then, an immigration official will process it and will inform you about the decision. Sometimes they might ask you to provide additional information. If that happens, you will have 28 days to submit the requested evidence. If your application for the Critical Skills Employment Permit is refused, you will be told the specific reasons for it.

    Make sure to submit your application for the Critical Skills Employment Permit at least 12 weeks before the proposed employment start date. The same applies to any other employment permit for Ireland.

    How much does the Critical Skills Employment Permit cost?

    The fees that all foreign citizens applying for the Critical Employment Permit have to pay are:

    • €1,000 for the processing of the Critical Skills Employment Permit application. This fee is partially refundable. If your application is refused, you will receive 90% of it.
    • €300 for the Certificate of Registration. You will only have to pay this fee if your application is successful.

    All the fees can be paid online. It is worth noting that the fee for the processing of the application can be paid by a third party but if it needs to be refunded, the refund can only be given to applicants.

    The total cost of applying for the Critical Skills Employment Permit varies depending on the individual circumstances of each applicant. For example, some people might have to have their documents translated by an official translator.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with your Irish visa application

    Can I change my job while on the Critical Skills Employment Permit?

    When applying for the Critical Skills Employment Permit you have to provide proof of having received a job offer in Ireland.

    You are normally given the permit to come to Ireland to work for this specific employer and you are expected to remain with them for at least 12 months. This requirement can be waived in some unforeseen circumstances.

    After 12 months you can change employers but you have to make a new application for the Critical Skills Employment Permit.

    How can IAS help?

    Here at IAS, our immigration consultants have expert knowledge of Irish immigration law and they helped many clients successfully apply for employment permits, including the Critical Skills Employment Permit.

    If you are not sure whether your qualifications and job offer in Ireland make you eligible for the Critical Skills Employment Permit, talk to our immigration consultants. They will analyse your circumstances and will determine whether you can apply for it.

    Our experts will guide you through each step of the application process and will be around to answer any questions you might have. Should you be refused the Critical Skills Employment Permit, our team of consultants will tell you what other visas to Ireland you might be eligible for.

    Contact us today on (+353) 061 518 025 to find out how our Immigration Service can help you.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If your application for the Critical Skills Employment Permit is accepted, you will be able to come to Ireland and stay there for 2 years. If at the end of this period you want to stay in Ireland longer, you can apply for Stamp 4, which is valid for up to 5 years.

    If you are granted the Critical Skills Employment Permit, you can apply to take your spouse, partner, or dependent children with you. You can do it through immediate family reunification. Once in Ireland, your loved ones will be able to study and apply for employment permits.

    If you get fired while you are in Ireland on the Critical Skills Work Visa, your employer has to inform the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation within four weeks of making you redundant.

    You will be gived up to six months to find another job in Ireland. If you do not manage to find one, you have to get in touch with the immigration authorities to establish what your immigration status will be. They might allow you to stay in Ireland longer to find a job or they might tell you that you have to return to your home country. That depends on your circumstances.

    If you are in Ireland and you lost your job, get in touch with an IAS Immigration lawyer. They can explain to you in detail what your next steps should be.

    The Critical Skills Permit is an official immigration status allowing you to live and work in Ireland for an initial period of two years. After that, you can apply to live in Ireland without having to hold an employment permit.

    One of the biggest advantages of the Critical Skills Employment Permit is that it can serve as a route to Irish citizenship. After five years of lawful residence in Ireland, you might be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship provided that you meet all the requirements.

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