We attended the launch of the Trusted Partner Initiative on 12 May 2015 which was hosted by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton (the “Minister”). This Initiative is part of the Minster’s commitment under the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 and is given statutory basis in the Employment Permit (Trusted Partner) Regulations, 2015.

The Initiative aims to streamline the employment permit process for employers/connected persons/EEA contractors by reducing the administrative burden involved in employing non-EEA nationals. The Initiative removes the requirement to replicate the same employer information in respect of each employment permit application (initial applications and renewal applications).

Under the Initiative, an employer/connected person/EEA contractor can apply to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (“DJEI”) for “Trusted Partner” status. If the application is successful, the Trusted Partner is granted a unique Trusted Partner Registration Number, which is valid for two years and which enables the Trusted Partner to use simplified application forms. These forms remove the obligation on the employer/ connected person/EEA contractor to provide details relating to the employer in respect of each employment permit application.

The Initiative will introduce many advantages to the employment permit application process including the following:-

  1. Reduced processing times in respect of employment permit applications for Trusted Partners.
  2. Reduced paperwork for every employment permit application.
  3. Shortened employment permit application forms.
  4. No applicable fee to become a Trusted Partner.

The Trusted Partner Initiative will extend to all employment permit types with the exception of EEA Contractors applying for a Contract of Services Employment Permit.

The Initiative is open to all persons who make an offer of employment, employers, connected persons and/or EEA contractors who are registered with the Revenue Commissioners and/or the Companies Registration Office. An application under the Trusted Partner Initiative is made by submitting the application form and accompanying documentation to the DJEI.

In respect of applications for Intra Company Transfer Employment Permits and Contract for Service Employment Permits, evidence of existing connections with foreign employers and/ or contract service agreements may be required also. The DJEI intend to process all applications to become a Trusted Partner within 2 – 5 working days.

Critically, if an application under the Trusted Partner Initiative is refused, there is no recourse to appeal the refusal. Therefore, it is imperative when applying under the Initiative, that the application form is completed correctly and that all relevant information is accurate.

Overall, the introduction of the Trusted Partner Initiative seeks to fast track employment permit applications for Trusted Partners ensuring that the process is streamlined, predictable and efficient.