IRELAND: Spike in Employment Permit Applications Causes Processing Delays

January 14, 2020

A surge in applications for employment permits at the end of 2019, ahead of a 1 January 2020 increase in salary thresholds and increased advertising requirements, has led to processing delays.

The delays are affecting both standard and Trusted Partner applications. Applications submitted under the Trusted Partner scheme are currently being processed in six weeks (previously four weeks). Meanwhile, standard non-Trusted Partner applications are taking up to 13 weeks (previously ten weeks) to be processed.


The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation experienced a higher than usual volume of applications in December 2019 in advance of changes to the employment permit regulations effective 1 January 2020 as follows:

  • The minimum salary threshold for Critical Skills Employment Permits increased from EUR 30,000 to EUR 32,000 where the position is on the Critical Skills Occupations List and where the candidate has a relevant degree or higher.
  • The minimum salary threshold for Critical Skills Employment Permits increased from €60,000 to €64,000 for all other positions (other than those on the Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits).
  • The time period for advertising a vacancy with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (as part of the Labour Market Needs Test) increased from 14 days to 28 days.

Our Advice

Employment permit applicants and their employers should allow for the significantly longer processing times.

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Ireland, please contact us.