Stamp 3 changes

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) have announced an end to the requirement for non-EEA national spouses and de facto partners of “critical skills” employment permit (CSEP) holders to obtain a “dependent/partner/spouse” employment permit (DPSEP) in order to work in the State.

This welcome change took effect from yesterday, 6th March 2019. Spouses and de facto partners will now be granted “stamp 1G” permission to reside in the State upon registration. This will allow them to work in the State without the need to apply for an employment permit.

Previously, spouses and de facto partners would have been granted “stamp 3” permission to remain in the State. “Stamp 3” permission does not carry the right to work in Ireland. In order to access the labour market, spouses and de facto partners were required for a DPSEP.

In general, employers were hesitant to extend job offers to persons holding stamp 3 as there appeared to be a misunderstanding of their entitlements, and employment permit processing times of 12-16 weeks were surely a deterrent.

It is also now open to spouses and de facto partners of CSEP holders who are currently resident in Ireland on “stamp 3” conditions to attend at their local immigration office to change their permission to a “stamp 1G”.

Finally, a new preclearance policy will be introduced for non-EEA, visa and non-visa required, de facto partners of CSEP holders. This is a long-awaited and helpful development which will provide de facto partners with clarity regarding their eligibility to obtain permission to remain in the State, prior to entering.

These changes should result in making Ireland a more attractive environment for highly skilled professionals and their family members to live and work.

It is also hoped that this will ultimately reduce the overall processing times for employment permit applications, given the fact that no more DPSEP applications will be added to the list.

Contact McGrath McGrane

If you are thinking of engaging a lawyer, why not contact us today to see if we can assist? Any of our solicitors will be delighted to speak with you without obligation.

McGrath McGrane Solicitors

Phone: +353 (0) 1 873 5012

Fax: +353 (0) 1 873 5024