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When is the right time to change job if you are on a Critical Skills Employment Permit in Ireland?

Posted: 3 Aug 2023

When is the right time to change job if you are on a Critical Skills Employment Permit in Ireland?

Many developers, programmers, coders and other skilled IT workers from India, Asia and other regions outside the European Economic Area (EEA) work in Ireland’s tech sector. If you are part of this community, you probably arrived in Ireland in one of the following ways—

With a Critical Skills Employment Permit and a job offer for a two-year period
as the spouse/de facto partner of someone who holds a Critical Skills Employment Permit
As a full-time student enrolled on course on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes

—or you may be a Graduate Student with permission to work in Ireland under the Third Level Graduate Programme.

Regardless of which of these situations applies, you will also have had to comply with Ireland’s visa and residency requirements for non-EEA nationals.

Critical Skills Employment Permit

This article focuses on workers with a Critical Skills Employment Permit who are wondering when is the best time to change job after they arrive in Ireland.

If you are working in Ireland on another basis (eg on an Internship Work Permit, working on a casual basis while studying in Ireland, or employed under the Third Level Graduate Programme), please see our article ‘Can non-EEA students work in Ireland’?’.

 

When can I change my job if I have a Critical Skills Employment Permit?

This is a question that non-EEA tech workers often ask. The answer depends on how long you have been working in Ireland.

 

Your first 12 months in Ireland

When you come to Ireland on a Critical Skills Employment Permit, you are expected to stay with your employer for at least 12 months. Effectively, this means that you cannot accept a job offer from another employer until you have been working for your first employer in Ireland for at least a year.

 

What if I am made redundant during my first year in Ireland?

If you are made redundant, you must notify the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment. You then have up to 6 months from the date of your redundancy to seek alternative employment. The Department’s website provides more information about the requirements for employment permit holders who are made redundant.

 

Changing job after a year in Ireland

While a Critical Skills Employment Permit is issued for a two-year period, if you want to change job after your first year in Ireland, you will have to get a new Critical Skills Employment Permit before you can start working for a new employer. Essentially, this means that if you want to move to another tech role (and if the role is on the Critical Skills Occupations List), you and your prospective employer will need to go through the same process that you went through before taking up your current role.

You can apply for a new Critical Skills Employment Permit via the Employment Permits Online Service. Note that the processing of applications takes time. This can be a deterrent for some employers who may prefer other suitably qualified candidates if they are available to take up the role in question sooner than you.

 

Can my spouse work/study in Ireland while I am on a Critical Skills Employment Permit?

Yes, provided they obtain the relevant permission. Spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment permit holders can register for Stamp 1G which enables them to work or study in Ireland without the need for an Employment Permit. Stamp 1G must be renewed annually. After someone has had Stamp 1G for five years, they can apply for citizenship/naturalisation.

 

What happens when my Critical Skills Employment Permit expires?

If you intend to continue living and working in Ireland after your Critical Skills Employment Permit and immigration status expire, you can request a Stamp 4 support letter from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. You can submit your request up to 12 weeks before your Critical Skills Employment Permit expires. If your request is successful, Stamp 4 allows you to continue to live and work in Ireland for a two-year period. When it expires, you can renew your Stamp 4 provided you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

After you have been living and working in Ireland for five years, you can apply for citizenship by naturalisation. You will find information about how to do this on inis.gov.ie.

 

Can I apply for other jobs if I have Stamp 4?

Yes, Stamp 4 allows you to live, work, study and operate a business in Ireland without needing an Employment Permit.

 

The best time to change job

To return to the question we posed at the outset of this article, ‘When is the best time to change job if you have a Critical Skills Employment Permit?’

While it is possible to change job in certain circumstances before you have been in Ireland for two years, arguably it is worth waiting until you have obtained Stamp 4 permission or citizenship.

Why? Because, when you are able to apply for and accept job offers without needing an Employment Permit, this opens up more opportunities and avoids Employment Permit/Visa processing delays for both you and your prospective employer—for example, Stamp 4 allows you to accept a daily rate contract which you cannot do while you are on a Critical Skills Employment Permit.

 

What if I already have Stamp 4 or citizenship?

If you already have Stamp 4 and/or citizenship and are looking for opportunities to advance your career in the tech sector, Eolas Recruitment would love to help you. We are proud to support many of the best employers and workers in Ireland’s tech sector. Find out what they say about our services by checking our online reviews and keep abreast of upcoming opportunities by subscribing for notifications on our website.

You can find out more about the topics discussed in this article on the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment Critical Skills Employment Permit webpage.

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