Ireland – Spouse or Partner of Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder Can Work Without Employment Permit

What has changed

Effective March 6, 2019, the spouses and de facto partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holders can access the Irish labor market without first obtaining an Employment Permit. In addition, on April 1, 2019, a new preclearance policy will be introduced for the non-EEA de facto partners of CSEP holders.

Previously, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service granted spouses and de facto partners of CSEP holders permission to reside in Ireland on Stamp 3 conditions. To have preferable access to the labour market, they need to apply for to apply to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) for a Dependent Spouse Partner Employment Permit (DSPEP), on the grounds of a job offer.

Presently, INIS will grant eligible spouses and de facto partners of CSEP holders permission to reside on Stamp 1 conditions, removing the requirement to apply for a DPSEP for employment.

Who is affected

Clients who have hired or intend to employ foreign nationals with spouses or de facto partners in Ireland.

What to expect

Arrangements for Spouses/Partners Who Already Hold a Stamp 3 Permission:

spouses and de facto partners of people who are currently resident in Ireland on Stamp 3 conditions may attend their local immigration office with their spouse/de-facto partner (who is the holder of a CSEP) to obtain permission to reside on Stamp 1 conditions without the need for a DSEP. A copy of the CSEP is necessary.

The local immigration officer will issue eligible applicants a new Irish Residence Permit (IRP) on Stamp 1 conditions, without the need for a DSPEP.


New Preclearance Arrangement:

On April 1, 2019, a new preclearance policy will be introduced for the non-EEA de facto partners of CSEP holders. As the family member of a CSEP holder, both visa and non-visa required nationals will be required to seek permission to reside in Ireland, prior to arrival.

An administrative fee of one-hundred euros (EUR 100) will apply for applications made under this policy. A separate visa fee of sixty euros (EUR 60) will apply for visa required nationals.


De Facto Partners:
For immigration purposes, a person may be considered the de facto partner, opposite or same sex, of another person if:
  • the relationship between them is genuine and continuing, and;
  • they live together or do not live separately and apart permanently, and;
  • they are not related by family.
The applicant must be in a position to provide evidence of:
  • a genuine, long-term, durable relationship;
  • Living with their de facto partner as a family unit for at least two (2) years prior to the commencement of this scheme.

What you need to do

Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for assistance in developing the appropriate immigration strategy based on case background.

This alert was prepared with information provided by Newland Chase.