Contingency plan to ensure that the Employment Permit system will continue.
The Ministry also introduced flexible work arrangements for workers with effect from Monday 30th March 2020 and has changed procedures to allow for the receipt of electronic/scanned records for assessments, Stamp 4 assistance letters and Trusted Partner applications and will report their reports by e-mail rather than fax.
Over the past few weeks, the Department has been prioritising the processing of employment permit applications for medical personnel and these applications will continue to be prioritised.
The Department will be flexible in dealing with employment permit issues that arise for both employers and employees as a result of the pandemic.
New arrangements for issuing employment permits
Temporary arrangements have been put in place which will allow for an electronic version (PDF) of an employment permit to issue by email to the employer/employee/agents as proof of an employment permit having granted for the named employee. The electronic version of the employment permit will be accompanied by a letter from the Department both of which should be presented to immigration officials, for verification purposes.
New online procedures for applying for “Stamp 4 letters of support”
New procedures for processing applications for Stamp 4 Letters of Support electronically have been put in place. Applications for Stamp 4 letters of support may now be submitted by filling out the required form and e-mailing it to EPStamp4@dbei.gov.ie. Any decision on an application, including the grant letter, will be communicated to the applicant by way of e-mail.
In the case of delays in processing Stamp 4 letters of support or receiving Stamp 4 approvals from the Department, holders of job permits whose immigration permits are due to expire between 20th March and 20th May 2020 may continue to live and work under the same terms for another two months
New procedures for applications for Reviews of Employment Permit decisions
New electronic procedures for applications for reviews of employment permit decisions have been put in place. Applications for reviews may now be submitted by filling out the required form and e-mailing it to EPReviews@dbei.gov.ie. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by way of e-mail correspondence.
Employment permit holders that wish to renew their permit
The existing provisions are maintained whereby an application for renewal of an employment permit may be made up to four months prior to the expiry of the term for jobs and up to one month after the expiry of the employment permit.
Under current circumstances, the Department has advised that a holder of an employment permit may continue to work while their renewal application permit is being processed and in such cases, no person will be asked to cease work or leave the country where the employment permit has expired and contact INIS to update their immigration permission.
Requirement to surrender existing employment permits
As a result of the COVID-19 measures, the Department recognises that many individuals and businesses may not be able to return the original or certified copy of the Employment Permit normally required within four weeks of job cessation. As an interim measure, the Department will not allow such licenses to be returned at this point but will request them to be returned after resuming normal work permit operations.
Information for applicants that have already submitted an employment permit
Given the uncertainty that has posed to workers handling the COVID 19 pandemic, the Department acknowledges that this may affect the ability of new employees to take up work and thus encourage improvements to already submitted applications for employment permits.
The Department may keep applicants in the approval queue until the condition is clearer, allow changes to the starting dates when a request for a permit has not yet been processed, and at any point until a request has been processed, the applicant can order that their application be withdrawn, in which case a 100% refund will be given.
Please see full .pdf file here.
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