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Key immigration updates for employers in Ireland

Corporate Immigration

Key immigration updates for employers in Ireland

Improved immigration permission for spouses and partners of ‘General Employment Permit’ and ‘Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit’ holders

Tue 21 May 2024

2 min read

The Minister for Justice and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment have issued an important announcement regarding changes to the immigration permission available to eligible spouses and partners of ‘General Employment Permit’ holders and ‘Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit’ holders. 


Previously, only spouses and de facto partners of (a) ‘Critical Skills Employment Permit holders’ and (b) ‘Researchers in the State on Hosting Agreements’ were granted the right to work in Ireland without an employment permit via ‘Stamp 1G’ permission.

What has changed?

As of 15 May 2024, this right has now been extended to eligible spouses and partners of (i) ‘General Employment Permit’ holders and (ii) ‘Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit’ holders who have applied for, and have been granted, family reunification in accordance with the Department of Justice’s ‘Non-EEA Family Reunification Policy’. These individuals may now be granted a ‘Stamp 1G’ permission, rather than a ‘Stamp 3’, and will be permitted to take up employment without the need to obtain an employment permit.

For eligible spouses and partners currently resident in the State on ‘Stamp 3’ conditions, there is no requirement to obtain a new ‘Irish Residence Permit’ card (IRP) to take up employment. These individuals can take up employment by providing prospective employers with a copy of their current IRP and the ‘Notice to Employers’ published by the Department of Justice. When renewing their IRP in due course, it will be endorsed with a ‘Stamp 1G’ permission.

What does this mean for employers and non-EEA nationals?

This is a very welcome development in that it permits the recruitment and employment of a broader pool of candidates and removes certain barriers to accessing employment for a large group of non-EEA nationals already lawfully resident in the State. It also removes a potential deterrent to non-EEA nationals, particularly key personnel and senior management in large multi-national organisations who contribute significantly to the Irish economy, considering relocating to Ireland on the basis of an ‘Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit’ who may have been hesitant given the barriers to accessing lawful employment faced by their spouses or partners. 

It is important to note, however, that this update does not impact the current state of play as regards the qualification periods required to exercise family reunification rights. Under the ‘Non-EEA Family Reunification Policy’, spouses and partners of ‘General Employment Permit’ holders (as well as other family members and dependant children) must still wait 12 months before joining the principal worker in Ireland (unlike the spouses, partners, and family members of ‘Critical Skills Employment Permit’ holders and ‘Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit’ holders, who enjoy immediate family reunification rights).

However, the Department of Justice recently stated that the wider issue of family reunification waiting periods and other matters are currently the subject of an ongoing review of the ‘Non-EEA Family Reunification Policy’. Watch this space!

More information on this update can be found here.

ALG’s Corporate Immigration team advises clients on all aspects of Irish immigration law. The team manages and assists clients with their corporate immigration and global mobility requirements. For more information please contact Noeleen Meehan, Partner or Colm Byrne, Associate or visit our Corporate Immigration Page.

Date published: 21 May 2024

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