What is the change? Amendments to Ireland’s Employment Permit Act take effect Sept. 1, containing changes to the shortage-occupations skills list and the list of ineligible occupations.

What does the change mean? IT engineers and telecommunication engineers are among the occupations that have been removed from the “ineligible list” and may now be filled by foreign applicants. Several occupations in the medical sector have also been juggled in response to changing skills needs in Ireland.

  • Implementation time frame: Sept. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment permits.
  • Who is affected: Irish companies hiring and recruiting foreign high-skilled workers.
  • Impact on processing times: New versions of application forms for employment permits will be in use starting Aug. 31.
  • Business impact: Companies recruiting foreign IT engineers, telecom engineers and workers in certain medical occupations added to the high-skilled shortage occupations list will benefit from the changes, while companies will no longer be able to recruit foreign workers for specified jobs that have been removed from the shortage-skills list.
  • Next steps: Employers are encouraged to work with their BAL professional to determine if their recruiting needs can be met with the changes to the shortage-skills list.

Background: Beginning Sept. 1, skills deemed to be in short supply will include: IT engineers, telecommunication engineers, chiropractors, mobility instructors for the visually impaired, and certain meat boners. Companies may now apply for employment permits for these jobs and should make sure that if they are required to perform a labor market needs test, that it starts Sept. 1 or later.

The following jobs will be deemed highly skilled occupations eligible for employment permits: radiation therapists, orthotists and prosthetists. On the other hand, healthcare practice managers and senior social services managers and directors will be removed from the list of jobs eligible for employment permits.

In addition, several jobs in the service sector have been added to the ineligible categories: betting shop managers; graphic design managers; library managers; plant hire managers; production managers; property, housing and estate managers; and dispensing opticians. Companies will no longer be able to apply for employment permits for these jobs.

New application forms (excluding Trusted Partner registration and Trusted Partner employment permit forms) will also be available Aug. 31.

BAL Analysis: The changes contain some important additions to the eligibility list that may benefit Irish employers hiring in the tech sector.

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

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