Work permit changes introduced to ease shortages

New regulations make it easier for IT workers to get visa

Changes to existing regulations that make it easier for individuals from overseas to secure work visas in Ireland have been welcomed.

The changes, which are contained in the Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2015, have been introduced because of a skills shortage in a number of industries, most notably the IT sector.

The amended legislation, which came into force on Tuesday, allows for an expansion of the occupations eligible for employment permits in Ireland to include telecommunications engineers, IT engineers, chiropractors, mobility instructors for the visually impaired and meat boners.

The number of occupations that are no longer eligible to apply for work permits has also been amended to include betting shop managers, graphic design managers, library managers, plant hire managers, production managers, and property, housing and estate managers and dispensing opticians.


Edwina Shanahan, manager at Visafirst, a Dublin-headquartered company which provides global visa and recruitment support services, said the changes introduced by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation "would go some way to addressing skills shortages in the country."

“While Ireland boasts a great workforce of people with qualifications, talent and experience in many areas - like most countries there are certain areas in which we are deficient in terms of specialist expertise. Improvements to and developments in the Irish work permit application process will have long term value for the Irish economy as those international companies based here, and also those that are considering setting up here, benefit from faster processing times and a reduced documentation requirements,” she said.

Eligibility on the department’s highly-skilled list has been amended to include radiation therapists, orthodontists and prosthetists, while healthcare practice managers and senior social services managers and directors have been removed.

Year-to-date there have been approximately 4,136 permits issued in Ireland to workers from overseas - predominantly filling posts in the medical and nursing and ‘service industry’.

By the end of July, the greatest number of permits had been issued to the HSE (1128), followed by Google Ireland (156), Wipro (65), IBM Ireland (58) and Intel (57).

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist