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Migrants in Ireland protested in 2010 to be allowed change employer while working on a permit. For a Green Card, a worker must stay with their first employer for at least 12 months.
Migrants in Ireland protested in 2010 to be allowed change employer while working on a permit. For a Green Card, a worker must stay with their first employer for at least 12 months.
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomszustek/

Surge in Irish Green Cards expected as a result of Finance Bill

The Green Cards are not subject to a labour means test but are permitted for those occupations where there are skill shortages.
Feb 13th 2012, 11:46 AM 4,006 12

MIGRATION EXPERTS HAVE claimed that a work programme introduced in the recent Finance Bill will lead to a surge in applications for Irish Green Cards.

VisaFirst has said it has already received enquiries about the Special Assignee Relief Programme which will reduce the cost to the employer of bringing skilled workers to Ireland.

Ireland’s Green Cards are granted to nationals from outside the European Economic Area who fill roles to plug skill shortages. The work permits are given to those with occupations with annual salaries of more than €60,000.

They are also permitted for certain occupations in health services, the engineering, financial, science and IT sectors with salaries of between €30,000 and €59,999.

VisaFirst has said that the Special Assignee Relief Programme announced in last week’s Finance Bill will see a three-fold increase in applications.

The programme is designed to reduce the cost to employers of assigning skilled individuals to Ireland. It works by exempting about 30 per cent of their salaries between €75,000 and €500,000 from income tax. To avail of the programme, workers must be assigned to Ireland for between one and five years.

VisaFirst’s manager Edwina Shanahan said Ireland will benefit from the new programme as it allows multinationals, as well as indigenous companies, attract key talent.

It is intended that this will generate employment through the development and expansion of current business in Ireland.”

Although the programme is in place to ensure skills shortages don’t affect industry, there is no requirement for a labour market needs test. That means the company does not need to advertise the job before hiring the non-Irish national.

A green card permit also allows spouses, civil partners and families join the holder immediately in Ireland. The permit is issued for two years.

For more information on Green Cards, follow this link>

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Sinead O'Carroll

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