In response to an ever-evolving labour market, changes to employment permits regulations had been expected by practitioners for some time. They have arrived by way of the Employment Permits (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019. The changes reflect the willingness of authorities to engage with users of the employment permits system and the wider labour market. Some of the updates will take immediate effect, while others will take effect in 2020.
The main changes of interest to employers are:
In a move that will be welcomed by those applying for Irish entry visas from Britain, the Embassy of Ireland recently announced a new visa application service which came into effect on 15 July.
VFS Global, UK Ltd. will now accept visa applications on behalf of the Irish Embassy. VFS will have five application centres based in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh & Cardiff, which will be welcomed by applicants not living in London.
The online application process will remain the same. However, following online submission, the applicant can then visit one of the VFS centres without an appointment. Applicants should check the Embassy website for details of full addresses and opening hours of each of the VFS centres. Applicants should also note that the Visa Office Public Counter in Cromwell Road has now closed.
General employment permit holders applying for an entry visa through the Irish Embassy in New Delhi in India should note that the checklist on the website for General Employment Permit holders relates only to General Employment Permit holders in the catering industry, agricultural sector, a company with less than 100 staff and/or a company that has been registered with CRO for less than 24 months. There had been some confusion when the notice was made public however the Embassy has now clarified this on their website.
Lengthy delays in obtaining GNIB appointments at Burgh Quay are set to continue for the remainder of this year. Individuals are reminded to bear this in mind when seeking an appointment and are encouraged to arrange to book an appointment in advance of arrival in Ireland. The move to an overall online system for INIS is imminent and is expected to be implemented on a phased basis with student registrations going online from 26 August 2019 and Atypical Working Scheme applications are due to go online in Q4 of 2019.
The online system for third level non-EEA students will alleviate pressure on the in-person appointment system as it will free up those slots which would have otherwise been allocated to students. This is a welcome move particularly coming into the busy season for students. It is expected to benefit over 8,000 students. The online renewal system will initially be available to students who live in Dublin. For anyone outside of the greater Dublin area, registrations will continue to be completed at the local Garda District Office.
The move to an overall online system for INIS will continue into 2020 with a view to designing an online portal for individuals who can login and view their prior immigration history, if applicable. This will undoubtedly be welcomed by users of the system who should be in a position to access their immigration records with ease. There is no definite date for completion and implementation may not be seamless however it is a move in the right direction and certainly in line with the ever evolving online world!
Citizenship has certainly been a hot topic in the media here over the last number of weeks. In an unexpected High Court decision, it was ruled that anyone applying for naturalisation must not leave Ireland in the year preceding their application.
The Department is actively working on finding solutions to the position as a matter of priority. It remains unconfirmed as to what the outcome or impact on current applications will be however it is likely there will be a delay in the processing of current applications pending a legislative review.
Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)
Tel: +353 1 792 6209
Senior Manager, PwC Ireland (Republic of)
Tel: +353 1 792 6117
Manager, PwC Ireland (Republic of)
Tel: +353 1 792 7165