What is the change? Ireland will soon require applicants for new and renewal employment permits to include signed copies of their employment contracts with their applications. The new requirement is among a host of changes that will be implemented Monday under new regulations.

What does the change mean? Employers should take note of the changes and plan accordingly.

  • Implementation time frame: March 26.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employment permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and non-EU nationals seeking work in Ireland.
  • Impact on processing times: No significant impact.
  • Business impact: The new requirements may create slight administrative burdens for employers.

Key information: The Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will take effect March 26. Key points include:

  • Signed copies of employment contracts must be included with applications for new and renewal employment permits.
  • Six jobs for workers with at least one year of experience in 2D or 3D animation will be added to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL): art director, location designer, character designer, prop designer, animation layout artist, animation background and design artist.
  • An exemption to the Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL) will be provided for executive chefs, head chefs and sous chefs with at least five years of experience and for chefs de partie with at least two years of experience. An overall quota of 610 has been set for these chef categories, with a limit of two employment permits per establishment. The regulations provide that these categories will no longer be excluded from consideration for contract or service employment permits.
  • Interim measures will be established for international protection applicants who are seeking access to the Irish labor market while their applications are pending.
  • Schedule 4 (Ineligible Categories of Employment) will no longer apply to applications for intracompany transfer employment permits.
  • Procedures will be established for the use of a new Irish Residence Permit pin.
  • Digital photo technical specifications will be changed.
  • Documentation requirements will be clarified for applicants who are caring for people with exceptional medical needs.
  • The CE/C1E driving license equivalent will be updated for HGV drivers.

In cases where a Labour Market Needs Test is required, the test should be initiated on or after March 26 if the job in question has been removed from the ICEL by the new regulations.

BAL Analysis: Employers should be prepared to provide copies of employment contracts and to meet other new requirements when submitting employment permit applications on or after March 26. Those with case-specific questions about the new requirements should contact BAL.

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

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