What is the change? Irish immigration authorities have announced that Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holders’ spouses and partners who hold Stamp 3 immigration permission in Ireland are now eligible to apply for Stamp 1 permission, which will allow them to work in Ireland without the need for an employment permit.

What does the change mean? This is a significant policy change that will provide spouses and partners of CSEP holders with much greater flexibility to work in Ireland. Previously, a CSEP holder’s dependent family members had to have a job offer and approved employment permit before they could apply for a Stamp 1 and start working.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Stamp 3 immigration permission.
  • Who is affected: Dependent spouses and partners of CSEP holders.
  • Business impact: Businesses may employ dependent spouses and partners of CSEP holders who have switched from Stamp 3 to Stamp 1 permission without needing to sponsor them for their own employment permit.
  • Next steps: Eligible Stamp 3 holders who wish to work in Ireland may now proceed with applying for Stamp 1 permission. Individuals living in County Dublin will need to attend an in-person appointment at Burgh Quay Registration Office, and those living outside County Dublin will need to attend appointments at their local Garda registration office. Those seeking guidance are urged to contact their Deloitte or BAL immigration professional.

Background: The stamp on the Irish Residence Permit (formerly known as a GNIB card) confirms the holder’s immigration status. Until now, spouses and partners of CSEP holders with Stamp 3 permission were not authorized to work in Ireland and needed to first have a job offer and apply for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse employment permit. This permit was specific to a certain role with a certain employer and did not offer the flexibility of unrestricted work authorization.

Analysis & Comments: Deloitte welcomes this change and thanks the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation and the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for engaging with them and others on this issue. The government’s announcement is good news for spouses and partners of CSEP holders and brings Ireland in line with many other countries in providing work authorization to dependents of high-skilled foreign workers. These dependent spouses and partners may now work freely in the country once they have switched to Stamp 1 permission, a process which involves an in-person appointment similar to what they went through to obtain the Stamp 3. For individuals living in County Dublin, the process involves booking an online appointment and attending the Burgh Quay Registration Office. Those outside of County Dublin should contact their local GNIB office directly to arrange an appointment. Note that the family member holding the CSEP must accompany the Stamp 3 holder to the appointment, and must provide a copy of the CSEP.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.