Thrilling changes to Ireland’s Employment Permit System: All you need to know

Ireland recently announced prominent changes to its employment permit system. These changes will help skilled workers from outside the EU to live and work there. The professions facing labour shortages, such as healthcare, IT, and construction, will particularly benefit from these changes.


Let’s take a look at the changes:


  • Salary Thresholds Going Higher

Starting in January 2024, the salary threshold for most general employment permits is going to be increased. The minimum salary, which was required at 30,000 euros, will go up to 34,000 euros annually. This 4,000 euro jump is excellent as it will encourage the number of work permits and also make family reunifications easier.

Fun fact: This threshold has been the same for the last decade!


A table of overall changes:


Employment Permit Type

Current Thresholds

Jan 2024




Meat Processing/Horticulture



Healthcare Assistant/Home Carer








  • General Employment Permits: More Eligible Jobs Added

The Irish government has added 32 new jobs to the list of occupations that are eligible for a general employment permit. Now, the following occupations will be removed from the Ineligible Occupations List, making them eligible for a General Employment Permit, and they will be able to secure work permits without the need to get sponsored by an employer.

  1. Residential Day and Domiciliary Case Managers in Disability Services
  2. Play Therapist in Disability Services
  3. Genetic Counsellor
  4. Social Care Worker
  5. Family Support Workers in Disability Services
  6. Project Offices, Disability
  7. Support workers (social, community, public, and charity)
  8. Guide Dog Mobility Instructor for the Visually Impaired
  9. Autism Assistance Dog Instructor
  10. Pig Managers
  11. Smiths and forge workers
  12. Moulders, core makers, and die casters
  13. Metal plate workers and riveters
  14. Car mechanic, motor mechanic, auto electrician, motor vehicle technician
  15. HGV mechanic
  16. Vehicle bodybuilders and repairers/body shop panel beaters
  17. Electrician, electrical contractor, electrical engineer
  18. Vehicle paint technician
  19. Skilled metal, electrical, and electronic trades’ supervisors
  20. Upholstery and furniture operations
  21. Butchers/ (de)boner
  22. Baker
  23. Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers
  24. Senior Care Workers in Disability Services
  25. Textile Process Operatives
  26. Wood machine operators
  27. Saw Doctor/Wood Machine Mechanic
  28. Armature Rewinder
  29. Pig Farm Assistants
  30. Speciality: Forestry Harvesting Technician


  • Critical Skills Occupations List Extended

11 new roles have been added to the extended Critical Occupations List, mentioned below:

Occupations added to the Critical Skills Occupation List:

  1. Professional Forester
  2. Resource modelling, earth observation, and data analyst
  3. Meteorologist
  4. Operational Forecaster
  5. Chemical Engineer
  6. Project Engineer
  7. BIM Manager
  8. Optometrist (Ophthalmic Optician)
  9. Commercial Manager
  10. BIM Coordinator/Technician
  11. Estimator


This change will let workers in these professions qualify for a fast-track employment permit process.


  • Family Reunifications

It is going to get easier for the families of skilled workers to join them in Ireland due to the increased salary thresholds and extended eligibility for work permits. The government seems committed to supporting family reunification for healthcare workers, etc., as there are several visa options available for dependents of work permit holders.


How are these changes going to affect you?

For a skilled worker from outside the EU, these changes could make it easier for them to live and work in Ireland. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The new salary threshold will be implemented on January 17, 2024.

  1. You can find a full list of the jobs now eligible for general employment permits on the website of the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation.
  2. You can find a full list of the critical skill occupations on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality.



  1. 11 roles were added to the Critical Skills Occupations List.
  2. 32 roles are eligible for a general employment permit.
  3. The salary requirement for a majority of General Employment Permit holders will rise from €30,000 to €34,000 in January 2024.
  4. Healthcare assistants and home carers’ salary requirements will rise from €27,000 to €30,000 in January 2024, while horticultural workers’ and meat processors’ salary requirements will rise from €22,000 to €30,000, bringing them in line with family reunification thresholds.
  5. Extension of existing quotas for dairy farm assistants, butchers and deboners, meat processors, and horticultural workers.
  6. A Labour Market Needs Test (LMNT) is required for General Employment Permit applications and will have to reflect the revised thresholds to be deemed valid.


If you are interested in applying for an employment permit in Ireland, we recommend that you contact a qualified immigration lawyer. They can guide you with which type of permit is right for you and help you through the application process.

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