Number of Irish work permits granted in 2016 set to be a record

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The number of Irish work permits for non-EU citizens in 2016 is set to reach a new record, according to new figures. In 2015, some 7,353 work permits were issued, enabling foreign workers from outside of the European Union to work in Ireland. It's believed that the number of Irish work visas that will be granted in 2016 will be higher still and exceed 9,000.

According to the new data, 2,160 Irish work permits had been issued to employers in the first four months of 2016, representing a 20 percent increase compared with the same period in 2015. Commentators say that: 'The uptake in Irish work permits is actually an indication of a growing economy.'

Top 5 companies applying for Irish work permits

The figures show that the top five users of the Irish work permit scheme to bring in non-EU workers to Ireland are:

  • HSE (479)

  • Google (125)

  • Intel (103)

  • Infosys (94)

  • Accenture (66)

The top source Countries for employees under the Irish work permit scheme are Brazil, India, Israel, Pakistan and the US. It is interesting to note that citizens of India accounted for around four times the number of applications as US citizens in the first four months of 2016.

Growing demand for Skilled workers on Irish work visas

The growing demand for Irish work visas is likely due to 'improvements in the economy and business sentiment.' Visa Consultant, Edwina Shanahan, said: "While certain companies need to bring staff from other countries to address certain skills shortages in particular areas, this is not necessarily a bad reflection on Ireland."

"Companies are expanding and while Ireland boasts a great workforce of people with qualifications, talent and experience in many areas, like most countries, there are areas in which we are deficient in terms of skilled workers – and while traditionally this has been mostly in IT and language-oriented positions, we are also seeing other sectors trying to bridge the skills gap with overseas workers," Shanahan added.

Shanahan also said that having spoken to a number of employers across Ireland's construction sector, they've confirmed that there are fewer new graduates entering the fields of quantity surveying and engineering, a decline attributed to the previous recession in Ireland. The decline in the number of new graduates explains why 2016 is set to be a record year for the number of Irish work permits issued as companies look to fill the gaps left by a shortage of local skilled workers.

Shanahan also said that Ireland's financial services sector is suffering from a lack of skilled workers.

Ireland's Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has also taken steps to improve its visa processing procedures, making it easier for companies to recruit workers from overseas.

Commentators say that there's an 'obvious need to attract business to Ireland and to keep those international companies already located in the country, here. Therefore, it's important that Ireland is seen to be relatively accommodating.'

Interest in Irish immigration increasing is receiving increasing interest in Ireland as an immigration option. If you have a contract or employment in Ireland, this may be worth considering. For many it is difficult to gain entry or leave to remain in the UK.

In the UK fewer people now qualify for indefinite leave to remain. The UK Government is likely to take even more steps in future to restrict Tier 2 visas. The Tier 2 work visa is one of the few options left for work-based entry to the UK.

If you are a highly skilled worker with good qualifications and experience then we may be able to come up with an immigration route for Ireland.

For more information on immigration to Ireland, call the London office on 0344 991 9222.