On the 15th April 2009, the Tanaiste announced that legislation is to be drafted introducing revised qualifying conditions for new work permits being sought by first time entrants to the labour market. It is intended that the new legislation will come into effect on the 1st June 2009. The changes will encourage employers to hire from the existing labour market pool for lower paid positions and for highly skilled positions in sectors which have been particularly affected by the downturn in the economy.

The changes are as follows:

  1. Work Permits
  • More job categories will be ineligible for new work permits, including work riders (horseracing industry), domestic workers and HGV drivers.
  • No new work permits will be issued for jobs paying less than €30,000 per annum.
  • The labour market needs test will be strengthened by doubling EURES/FAS advertisement of the job vacancy to eight weeks, and national press advertisement to six days.
  • Tough conditions for the renewal of permits will be introduced including higher fees and a requirement to carry out a labour market needs test on renewal.
  • Spouses and dependants of future principal work permit holders will have to apply for permits in their own right subject to the standard eligibility criteria and fees for work permits.  
  1. Green Card List - Salaries paying €30,000 to €60,000 - removal of certain categories

Quantity Surveyors, Building Managers and some categories of Engineers and Architects were previously removed from this list. With immediate effect, the following occupations have now been removed:

  • Healthcare: Registered midwives, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers, medical physicists and speech and language therapists;
  • Financial Services: Economists, statisticians, underwriters, claims assessors and analysts, securities specialists, fund and investment management specialists, common law jurisdiction lawyers, investment fund professionals, fund accountants, fund valuations professionals, fund administrators, custody specialists, transfer agents and hedge fund specialists.
  • Industry/Services: Marketing Managers. The changes announced only affect job applicants from outside the EEA and such applicants with salary offers in excess of €60,000 per annum continue to be eligible for Green Cards.

Click here for the full text of the Tanaiste's press release.

Click here for FAQs prepared by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment on related issues such as the impact of short time working and redundancy on permit holders.