Ireland Immigration Policy
Ireland immigration requirements differ depending on the visa, programme, or permit. There are several ways to immigrate to Ireland, namely the Family Reunification visa, Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), Critical Skills Employment Permit. The Critical Skills Employment Permit is comparatively the most attractive option because of the lower requirements.
Immigrant Investor Programme
Ireland immigration investment applicants must have a personal wealth of €2 million, which must be from the applicant’s own resources, all legitimate and traceable, and not financed through a loan. The programme offers four investment options for potential investors:
- Enterprise Investment
- Investment Fund
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)
When the application is approved, the applicant and their immediate family members will be granted a residence permission in Ireland under “Stamp 4” conditions, which permits foreign nationals to work, study, or start their own business in Ireland.
Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP)
There are two types of employment permits for Ireland skilled immigration:
- General Employment Permit
- Critical Skills Employment Permit
Applicants must submit a detailed description of their skills and experience in the specific field, and meet the minimum annual remuneration requirement. 5 years after the permit’s acquisition, one can apply for long-term residency (stamp 4).
To qualify, the job should be highly demanded within Ireland, highly skilled, and in significant shortage in the labour market. Examples include ICT professionals, professional engineers, specialist doctors, registered nurses, architects, and surveyors. The Labour Market Needs Test is not required. Permit holders are required to stay with their initial employer for at least one year.
The dependants/partners/spouses of the permit holder can apply for the Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit. The spouse is granted permission to reside in Ireland under Stamp 1 conditions, which allows them to work without having to obtain additional permits. Dependants such as children are issued with a Stamp 3 immigration permission, which allows them to work as long as they are accompanying the CSEP holder. Once the dependant has been offered an eligible job, they can then apply for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit. When an employment permit has been granted, they will have their immigration status changed to a Stamp 1 permission.
General Employment Permit
The General Employment Permit assumes all occupations to be eligible unless it is excluded under the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits. The applicant must possess the required skills, the minimum annual remuneration, a work contract of no less than 12 months, and they must have passed the Labour Market Needs Test. Permit holders are required to stay with their initial employer for at least one year.
Living in Ireland
Ireland is a permanent neutral country. Although it was not a top immigration destination in the past, nowadays it is attracting more and more immigrants. According to a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) based on quality of life, Ireland scored high in health, education, life satisfaction, safety, environment and sense of integration. Its excellent social benefits and low tax rates are attracting more and more interested immigrants, including Hong Kong residents.
Ireland is a traditional Catholic country with a low crime rate, and most of the Irish are very friendly. They enjoy singing and dancing, and English is spoken everywhere. New immigrants who speak English should have no problem blending in with the locals and integrating into the community.