Thursday, 12 May 2022
Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
We have had a huge increase in the number of applications for work permits and work visas and, in response, we have trebled the number of staff working on issuing work permits and work visas and are automating some processes. We are starting to see improvements in waiting times. For critical skills permits, the waiting time is now back to six or seven weeks, which is pretty good. For the general employment permit, it is still about 20 weeks, but we expect that to fall in the next few weeks. It is something we are getting on top of. We have trebled the resource behind it and many more staff are now working on the issuing of permits. The waiting times are a function of the huge increase in demand for work permits, given how difficult it is to find staff not just here in Ireland but throughout European Union at the moment. The legislation is with the Minister of State, Deputy English, and while I do not have a date for its publication, we expect it to be brought to Cabinet in the next few months.