Visa Crunch

Immigration Destination: Things To Know Before Planning To Move To Ireland

The number of Indians moving to Ireland has grown steadily from 28,000 in 2014 to over 40,000 now. The majority of these Indian professionals work mainly in IT, hospitality, healthcare, real estate, pharmaceuticals, retail, and education.

Many renowned IT companies such as Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, and TCS have their operations in Ireland. These companies already have hundreds of employees working and will add more jobs in years to come.

As per Ireland’s Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation report, one-third of the total work permits granted to foreign nationals went to Indians in October 2019. In 2018, 4,313 visas were issued to Indians by the Irish government.

Know The Country:

Official Name: Ireland (Éire in Irish)

Capital: Dublin

Total Area: 84,421 square kilometres

Population: 4.9 million

Languages: English and Irish

Government: Republic

Currency: Euro (€)

Passport strength: 6th in the world

Safety Index: 6th safest country in the world

Peace Index: 13th most peaceful country

Average Salary: €43,200 (US $49,458) per year

Cost of living: The estimated cost for a single person per month is around €2,679 (US $3,067) and for a family of four is approximately €4,785 (US $5,478).

Key Benefits

  • Ireland enables free access to the European Union.
  • It is the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone.
  • After acquiring Irish citizenship, Indian professionals can work in the United Kingdom, under the ‘Common Travel Area Agreement’ between Ireland and the UK.
  • Indians who move to Ireland on a work permit can eventually apply for citizenship after five years.

Immigration Options

Critical Skills Employment Permit

This permit (visa) is for business persons and skilled professionals with experience, qualifications, and skills needed in skills shortage sectors. You or your Irish employer may apply for the work permit to the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment.

Once you have the permit, you may apply for a work visa, if needed. If you are a business person and plan to run an enterprise under this permit, you must have enough capital (€100,000/ US $114,485 upwards) to meet the establishment and operational expenses.

Holders of this visa can bring partners, spouses, and dependents to Ireland. Eligible family members will also have a right to work in Ireland. After the two years of the permit, they can also apply for permanent residency status.

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is usually processed in four to six weeks. If an applicant gets rejected, he/she must request a review within 28 days of receiving the decision using the Submission of a Decision for Review Form.

Eligibility Criteria

  • An annual salary of at least €32,000 (US $36,635) in an occupation featuring on the Critical Skills Occupation List
  • A yearly wage of €64,000 (US $73,271) a year in an occupation not on the Critical Skills Occupation List
  • The job offer must be for two years or more
  • A foreign individual cannot get a work permit from an Irish company having over 50% non-EEA employees. However, this requirement can be waived off in the case of startup companies
  • You must also demonstrate the relevant qualifications, skills, and experience to perform the job

Ireland Startup Visa

Known as the Start-up Entrepreneur Program (STEP), the STEP allows highly innovative foreign entrepreneurs to establish their presence in Ireland with unique and scalable business ideas. To apply, you must have a ‘unique product or service’ to international markets and have funds of at least €50,000 (US $57,243) for the startup venture.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Introduce a unique product or service to international markets
  • Be able to generate at least 10 full-time jobs for Irish people
  • A team of experienced workers must lead your business
  • Your company must be headquartered and controlled in Ireland
  • Have at least €50,000 (US $57,243) available funds
  • The primary applicant’s spouse and dependent children may also be included in the application.
  • The processing time for this visa is ten working days from India.
  • It is important to note that an Ireland startup visa can only give you temporary residence in the country.

Residency by Investment

The residency by investment amount ranges from €500,000 (US $572,426.59) to €2 million and it’s the best possible route to Irish residency. The investor may invest in an Irish REIT listed on the Irish Stock Exchange or the investment may be spread across several different Irish REITs. Apart from this, they must also meet the following requirements:

  • The full investment must be held for three years.
  • You are at least 18 years of age.
  • You come from a non-EEA country.
  • After three years, 50% of shares can be sold.
  • After four years, a further 25% can be released.
  • After five years, there are no requirements to keep investments.
  • Clean criminal record
  • The minimum net worth of €2 million.

Student Visa

Of late, the number of students choosing Irish universities has been skyrocketing.

Visa options for overseas students depends upon the length of the program:

C-type Study Visa is for international students who wish to attend a short study course, i.e., less than 90 days. The visa does not allow you to work (paid or unpaid) and avail yourself of publicly funded services in Ireland.

Holders of C-type study visas cannot extend this visa unless exceptional circumstances exist. You must leave the country after the expiry of 90 days period. You will need to apply for a long-term visa to extend your stay after leaving Ireland.

D-type Study Visa- If your course lasts more than three months, you should apply for a ‘D study visa.’ First register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau, which permits non-EU/EEA nationals to stay in Ireland beyond three months.

As a study visa, it allows you to work full-time in the months of June, July, August, and September, and from December 15 to January 15. You can work 20 hours a week for the rest of the year. Apart from working hour rules, international students are not allowed to work as taxi drivers or work as self-employed. The permission to work ends after the expiry of the visa.

The processing time is usually eight weeks.

Post-study pathways for International students in Ireland

International students with a valid Irish degree and Visa Stamp 2 are eligible to apply for the Third Level Graduate Scheme. This scheme permits Irish educated foreign students to have Level 8 and 9 awards from a relevant body or institution to stay in Ireland after completing their studies for one year.

The pathway also allows students to apply for a general employment permit, namely, Critical Skills Employment Permit or research work in Ireland. Non-EEA graduates in Ireland qualifying Irish HEIs may also receive a Stamp 1G, allowing them to look for suitable employment opportunities in Ireland after completing their studies.

This visa is valid for 12 months for those with a Level 8 qualification and 24 months for a Level 9 or above qualification.

Cohabitation Visa

After meeting specific requirements, citizens of Ireland who are in a relationship with non-EEA nationals can bring their partners or apply for a residence permit. Foreigners in a relationship of at least two years with the Irish national are eligible to stay in Ireland based on their de facto relationship.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You are a non-EEA national.
  • You are in a relationship with an Irish national.
  • You and your partner are in a genuine relationship and intend to live together permanently.
  • For non-EEA partners, holding of Stamp 1, Stamp 4, or Stamp 5 residence permission is mandatory.
  • You must provide sufficient evidence of your relationship.
  • You must be living with your partner at the time of submitting the application.
  • Your Irish partner must be financially stable to take care of you. Neither of you is dependent on social welfare benefits.
  • You must have private medical insurance coverage.

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