Recent Updates in Ireland’s Immigration: Salary Requirements, Eligibility Criteria, and Labor Market Implications

Recent Updates in Ireland’s Immigration: Salary Requirements, Eligibility Criteria, and Labor Market Implications

Recent Updates in Ireland’s Immigration: Salary Requirements, Eligibility Criteria, and Labor Market Implications 2023
In recent times, Ireland has made big changes to its immigration system, marking a significant moment in how the country manages its workforce. From December 20, 2023, the Irish government expanded the employment permit system extensively, making more occupations eligible for Employment Permits. This includes adding new jobs to the Critical Skills Occupation List and making formerly excluded roles open for permits. These changes are crucial because they aim to tackle a shortage of workers and help the economy grow. By allowing a broader range of skilled individuals, both locally and internationally, to apply for Employment Permits, the government is adapting to the needs of the job market. This flexibility is vital as it ensures that the workforce has the right skills and expertise to meet the changing demands of the economy, making Ireland more competitive in the long run. Let’s see what those changes are: 

Expansion of Eligible Occupations in Ireland

The expansion of eligible occupations in Ireland’s recent immigration changes is a noteworthy development. The Critical Skills Occupation List has been updated to include professions like professional forester and data analyst, offering new opportunities for individuals seeking employment in Ireland. Non-European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals now have the chance to obtain a Critical Skills Occupation Permit, enabling them to work in these designated roles. Additionally, previously ineligible roles have become eligible for Employment Permits, with 32 new occupations added to the list.  This inclusivity extends to various professions, such as social care workers and electricians. Furthermore, certain occupations have been removed from the Ineligible Occupations List, creating a more open and diverse landscape for individuals seeking employment in Ireland.

Ireland’s Salary Requirement Increases

The recent changes to salary requirements in Ireland’s immigration system are as follows: 
  • General Employment Permit (GEP)
    • Minimum salary raised to EUR 34,000
    • Removal of salary threshold exemption for graduate positions and language skills specialists
  • Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP)
    • Minimum salary raised to EUR 38,000 (EUR 64,000 for relevant degree exemption)
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit (ICT)
    • Increased salary requirements for trainee transferees and other transferee categories
  • Healthcare Assistants, Home Carers, Horticultural Workers, and Meat Processors
    • Initial salary increase to EUR 30,000 (Reversal for healthcare assistants and home carers meaning their salaries will remain at EUR 27,000.)

Quota Extensions

There’s another immigration update that is an extension of quotas for certain jobs. This means there are limits set on how many people can get permits for jobs like dairy farm assistants, butcher/deboners, meat processors, and horticultural workers. What’s important to note is that these extended quotas are one-off, which means they don’t get renewed every year. People who qualify for these quotas can still apply for Employment Permits to work in these specific jobs.

Ireland’s Labor Market Needs Test (LMNT)

In response to recent changes in Ireland’s immigration rules, there’s a new requirement called the Labor Market Needs Test (LMNT). This test is specifically for General Employment Permit (GEP) applications. Now, when employers go through this process, they must consider and show that the proposed salary in their job advertisements aligns with the new, higher salary thresholds. This change impacts applications filed on or after January 17, 2024. If the advertised job salary doesn’t meet these new higher thresholds, any LMNT posted on or after December 20, 2023, may not be enough to support the GEP application effectively.
Labor Market Needs Test (LMNT)

Labor Market Background in Ireland

The current state of Ireland’s labor market reflects a high demand for Employment Permits, driven by significant labor shortages and remarkably low unemployment rates among the local population. Notably, certain Employment Permit categories have seen minimal changes in minimum salary thresholds for nearly a decade, a situation recognized by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). Looking forward, DETE has laid out a roadmap, revealing intentions to increase salary thresholds for all Employment Permit types. This roadmap suggests the possibility of additional increases, estimated to be between EUR 5,000 to 7,000, by July 2025.

The recent changes in Ireland’s job permit system show they’re actively working to meet the needs of the job market and boost the economy. More jobs are open, and the rules about salaries and quotas have been updated. Looking ahead, the plan is to keep making adjustments, possibly increasing salary requirements by July 2025.

If you’re thinking about working in Ireland, it’s essential to understand these changes. Globalogy Job Support Service can help you navigate this. They are experts in jobs and visas, making the process smoother. Whether you’re an employer or someone looking for work, keeping an eye on the future of job permits and possible salary changes is key. Consider using the Globalogy Visa Expert service for a reliable guide on your journey to exciting job opportunities in Ireland. 

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