Expansion of Employment Permit System Announced

17 Jan 2024


On 20 December 2023, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) announced significant changes to the employment permit system. The changes cross many employment sectors and include amendments to roles eligible for employment permits as well as a roadmap for increasing the minimum salary thresholds for employment permits.

The changes include the addition of 11 roles to the Critical Skills Occupation List and 32 roles now considered eligible for General Employment Permits, which were previously listed as ineligible.

A roadmap for increasing the minimum salary thresholds for all types of employment permits was announced, increasing the minimum salary for general employment permit holders from €30,000 to €34,000 in January 2024 with further increases in 2025. Salary requirements for roles such as healthcare assistants/home carers and horticultural/meat processor workers will increase from €27,000 and €22,916 respectively to €30,000 in January, bringing the roles in line with the minimum salary required for family reunification. Other categories, such as permits issued for Graduate Positions and Contract for Services, among others, will see similar increases in the minimum salaries for the roles. The increase in salaries will be introduced on a phased basis.

Quotas in place for some occupations eligible for general employment permits have been extended, commencing in January 2024. This applies to roles such as meat processing operatives, butchers and dairy farm assistants.

DETE also recently announced changes to the Stamp 4 Process. Applicants for certain Stamp 4 permissions are no longer required to obtain a letter of support from the DETE. The new process is outlined here.

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