Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (www.entemp.ie) Micheál Martin will today unveil details of the new “Irish green card” system for migrant workers. This will be released under the provision of Employment Permits Act.
According to a government spokesman “The Act also allows the minister to introduce a ’green-card’ type system for highly skilled migrant workers and provides a number of new important protections for migrant employees.”
The government does need to start some official program, previously there was a system where people could get Irish Workpermits if they had a skill in an industry that was lacking workers (like nursing or tourism in the past). I wonder how this system will work, i.e. lenght of permit, details of what sector permits are available for and details of how many times a renewal is possible.
Well I guess we just have to be patient !
With effect from 1 January 2007, Irish embassies abroad and, where applicable the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform are not accepting new Work Visa/Work Authorisation applications and this scheme has been discontinued.
It is being replaced by the Green Card which will come into operation from 1 February. Any urgent Work Visa/Work Authorisations applications received before 1 February will be dealt with by issuing work permits (in respect of which applications may be made to convert them to Green Cards, if eligible, after 1 February).
Persons wishing a very general understanding of the new Irish “green card” should consider it to be more similar to the United Kingdoms HSMP visa.
Summary of New Rules for Green Cards
Where the annual salary (excluding bonuses) on offer is €60,000 or more, the Green Card Permit is available for all occupations. The Department gives themselves an opt out clause – “…other than those which are contrary to the public interest.” So really well paid drug prostitutes or gang leaders need not apply. 😉
Those workers with high end skills – medical, financial, technical – are welcome, so long as they have a job offer from an Irish employer of between 30,000 and 60,000 Euro. After two years, green card holders may apply for permanent residency.
If you can get one, Green Cards are more desirable than standard Work Permits which have more restrictions.
There are two categories of application based on salary level.
- Firstly, where the annual salary (excluding bonuses) on offer is €30,000 or more the Work Permit can be considered for occupations other than those which are contrary to the public interest.
- Secondly, Work Permits will only be considered for a very limited number of occupations below an annual salary of €30,000 [Qualifying Job List].
A very long list of jobs are excluded from applying at all. As an example, hotel staff of any kind except chefs are ineligible to apply. After five years, work permit holders may apply for an unlimited work permit.
So there you have it in a nutshell, good luck ! To read what jobs qualify for a green card, read [Irish Green Card Jobs List].