Ireland: Expat partners can now work

Published on 2019-04-01 at 14:32 by Anne-Lise Mty
In Ireland, spouses of non-EEA work permit holders did not, de facto, obtain a work permit. They were allowed to look for jobs with employers which would in turn sponsor their work permits. But this has changed now.

The change was announced by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) in the beginning of March, according to the Irish Times. If your partner is the holder of a critical skills employment permit, you would de facto also be able to apply for a work permit in Ireland.

The critical skills employment permit is granted to highly skilled individuals who have landed a job in Ireland. This permit, unlike other work permits, allow holders to move to Ireland with their families. However, the spouses or partners of critical skills employment permit holders would not be able to work under the permit they were granted. Indeed, they were granted a Stamp 3 which would allow them to look for jobs but not to work. It is only upon finding a job that spouses and partners of work permit holders would be able to, themselves, apply for a work permit.

However, according to The Irish Times, a lot of employers were oblivious to the fact that Stamp 3 holders could apply for jobs which meant that it would be extremely difficult for them to find work in Ireland. But that would not be the only barrier. Having to convert their Stamp 3 to a Stamp 1 would also be an additional administrative hassle once they've found a job.

The new laws, however, scrap this whole procedure. Indeed, under the new system, spouses and partners of a critical skills employment permit will automatically be granted a Stamp 1 which means they can work in Ireland. Furthermore, they will not have to wait until they are on Irish territory anymore to be able to apply for their Stamp 1.