What is the Critical Skilled Employment Permit?

The Critical Skills Immigration Program is designed to attract highly skilled people into the labour market to motivate them to take up permanent residence in the state. The Irish Critical Skills Employment Permit is a job-offer-based work permit that allows immigrants to work in Ireland in a role that pays at least €64,000 per year or at least €32,000 per year if the job is on Ireland’s Highly Skilled Occupations List. Either the worker or the employer can apply for this visa.

The Critical Work Authorization (CSEP), which replaced the Green Card work permit, was created to facilitate the relocation of migrant workers to Ireland. This program has unique advantages for employers in Ireland over standard work visas and is only accessible to applicants with the skills required to work in a specific job.

Benefits of the Critical Skills Employment Permit

Ireland Critical Skills Permit Guidance

Everything you need to know about the Ireland Critical Skills Permit – from eligibility factors, application process to timeline associated and much more.
Eligibility for a critical skills work permit is highly dependent on the type of work and the level of compensation proposed. The following are eligible:

  • Occupations with a minimum annual salary of €32,000 for several crucial jobs on the critical skills list that require an appropriate or advanced degree.
  • In the case of a nurse or midwife, a third-level degree or diploma recognized by the Irish Council of Nurses and Midwives is a sufficient qualification for registration as a state nurse or midwife.
  • All professions with an annual minimum wage of €64,000 (except the jobs on the critical skills list and those that are on the ineligible list). Non-EEA nationals without a higher qualification or degree must have the required experience.
  • The employee concerned must have submitted a qualifying job offer for two years from the prospective employer.
Other criteria that need to be met:

  • Future employees must have the relevant qualifications, skills, and experience required for the job.
  • The company will not be granted a work permit unless 50% or more of the company’s employees are EEA nationals at the time of application.
  • However, this limit can be lifted for start-ups within two years of establishment (registered as an income employer). This company must be supported by a business development agency such as Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland (this only applies to Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland client companies)
To achieve a minimum remuneration of €32,000 or €64,000 for critical work permits, the following component applies as remuneration:

  • A basic salary to meet the national minimum wage or the level of salary established as the first component of the remuneration package under the statute, and health insurance payments.
The main requirements for this program include:

  • A complete job description of the proposed work
  • Commencing date
  • Annual remuneration (does not include bonus)
  • Information about the qualifications, skills, or experience required for the job.

Not sure if you qualify for the Ireland Critical Skills Permit? Don’t worry, Nysa Global has your back.

Which Jobs are on the Critical Skills Occupation List?

A complete list of eligible occupations is available on the Irish Government website. Some of the prime occupations on the list include:

  • Production managers and directors
  • Natural and social science professionals
  • Engineering professionals
  • ICT professionals – including information technology and telecommunications directors, IT business analysts, architects and systems designers, IT specialist managers, project managers, programmers, software development professionals, Web design and development professionals
  • Health professionals, including medical practitioners, vascular technologists/physiologists, radiographers, radiation therapists, gastrointestinal technologists/physiologists
  • Social service and health managers
  • Nursing and midwifery professionals
  • Teaching and other educational professionals
An Expert Group determines the roles to be included on the Irish skills shortage list. Their purpose is to assess the labour market needs for Ireland in the coming years. The list changes in response to actual areas of shortage and projected areas of future economic growth.

Ireland Critical Skills Employment Permit Process

Critical skills work permit applications must be received at least 12 weeks before starting work and are available online through the online work permit system. Applying for a work permit is done in three steps:
  • 01

    Application accepted

    Once the application has been submitted and the associated fee, if any, is recorded, the application will be placed in the appropriate processing queue depending on the type of company.

  • 02

    Processing phase

    In this phase, the application is checked by the decision-maker, an official with decision-making authority. If necessary, the processor can request for additional information, which must be furnished within 28 days. The processor will then submit a request or reject it for some reason.

  • 03


    If the applicant wants to reject the review, they can do so within 28 days of completing the mandatory review decision form. A separate, senior official will review the assessment. Confirmation of the decision to reject the review does not preclude applicants from submitting new applications, provided they follow all relevant procedures for the type of work permit in question.

Ready to apply for a work permit in Ireland? Take your first step with Nysa Global.

Applying for Stamp 4

Permission to work with critical skills is granted for two years. You can then get Stamp 4 which gives you permission to live and work in Ireland without a work permit.

You will be required to fill out an application form to receive a letter of support from the Company, Trade, and Employment Department confirming your current employment.

Further, you must register with your local immigration officer and bring the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Certificate of Registration (IRP card)
  • Critical Skills Employment Permit
  • A letter from the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation confirming your continuing employment
If you do not meet the requirements for Stamp 4, you can receive Stamp 1 (permission to work or operate a business in Ireland, subject to conditions). Fee/Cost: Applicants must pay a permit and processing fee for their critical skills application. The applicant can be an employer, employee, related person, or a contractor or agent.

Permit Fee Duration
New €1,000 Up to 2 years
  • If the application is rejected or withdrawn, 90% of the fee will be returned to the applicant.
  • The registration fee for immigration and obtaining an IRP is €300.
  • Path to Passport

    If you are permitted Stamp 4, it will be issued for two years and renewed if you continue to meet the criteria. If you have been a legal resident for five years, you can apply for citizenship through naturalization.

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