What is the change? Ireland has made changes and clarifications to its Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations (HSEOL) and Ineligible Categories of Employment (ICEL) lists that will benefit employers and non-EEA accountants, legal and human resources professionals and technical support specialists.

What does the change mean? Affected accountants, legal and HR professionals and technical support specialists will have an easier time obtaining work authorization in Ireland, though they must meet all relevant criteria before being eligible for Employment Permits.

  • Implementation time frame: The changes will take effect Aug. 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment Permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and non-EU nationals seeking work authorization in Ireland.
  • Business impact: Businesses will have an easier time recruiting and hiring non-EEA nationals in the listed occupations.

Background: Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) announced earlier this year that it would accept submissions from stakeholders in its recently completed review of the HSEOL and ICEL. As a result of direct consultation with BAL Global, DJEI will make changes or clarifications that will help employers and non-EEA workers in affected occupations. Among the key changes and clarifications:

  • Officials will adjust the HSEOL to include accountants with at least three years’ auditing experience who have relevant work experience in specified areas and are full members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).
  • Officials have clarified that accountants who do not have any of the qualifications per recognized accreditation bodies can undertake non-accounting roles such as project manager in Ireland, but must submit their application under the appropriate job title.
  • Officials will make an exception to the ICEL for legal associate professionals who are fluent in at least one non-EEA language and have sufficient market knowledge of at least one non-EEA country (i., knowledge of a defined region or type of market outside the EEA). People working in this occupation are now eligible for General Employment Permits, provided they meet other relevant criteria.
  • Officials have said HR occupations where the job is not purely administrative will be removed from the ICEL, and people working in such positions will be eligible for General Employment Permits. Purely administrative HR occupations will remain on the ICEL.
  • Officials have clarified that demonstrably highly skilled and qualified technical support specialists are – and will continue to be – eligible for General Employment Permits.
  • Officials have clarified that it is up to applicants to demonstrate the relevance of their degree qualifications in the area of employment for which their employment permit is being sought.

The changes will take effect Aug. 2. Ireland will undertake another review of the HSEOL and ICEL this fall.

BAL Analysis: The changes and clarifications are welcome news to employers and non-EEA accountants, legal and HR professionals and technical support specialists who will be affected. BAL Global invites clients to work with BAL professionals by providing any suggestions or feedback on the HSEOL and ICEL for the review Ireland is expected to complete this fall.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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