Thursday, 18 November 2021
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
140. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if his Department is making exceptions for permit holders applying for a stamp 4 support letter who were paid less than that specified on their critical skills employment permit due to the Covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56759/21]
The State's employment permit system is designed to supplement Ireland's skills and labour supply over the short to medium term by allowing enterprises to recruit nationals from outside the EEA, where such skills or expertise cannot be sourced from within the EEA at that time. The system is, by design, vacancy led and managed through the operation of the critical skills and ineligible occupation lists. These lists are subject to twice yearly evidence-based review, taking account of labour market research, a public consultation and contextual issues such as Brexit and Covid 19.
The Critical Skills Employment Permit is the primary permit used by the State to attract highly skilled professionals in roles that are critical to the economy. One of the benefits for Critical Skills Employment Permit holders is they can apply for a Support Letter from this Department to present to the Department of Justice in their application for a Stamp 4 immigration permission. If an individual is successful in securing a Stamp 4 they no longer require an employment permit to be employed in the State. Non EEA nationals are eligible to apply for their Support Letters from this Department only when they have completed a minimum of 21 months continuous employment in the State on foot of their Critical Skills Employment Permit. Applications can be submitted up to 12 weeks before the expiry date of their permit.
In light of the uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, if an employee was in receipt of either the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or the Temporary Covid-10 Wage Subsidy Scheme, this will be taken into account when assessing a Stamp 4 Support Letter application. Supporting documentation detailing this reduced payment must be provided with all applications.