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“Ireland to Grant Job Opportunities to Spouses of Foreign Workers, Fulfilling Long-Awaited Decision”

Dublin: The Department of Justice has delivered promising news to numerous individuals residing in Ireland for employment and education purposes.

The government has introduced the Stamp 1G permit, replacing the Stamp 3 permit, for eligible spouses and partners of General Employment Permit and Intra-Corporate Transferee Irish Employment Permit holders. Those who have applied for and been granted family reunification will also benefit from this amendment. The significant advantage of this system is that permit holders can engage in employment without the need for a separate work permit.

Spouses and partners of General Employment Permit holders, as well as researchers with a hosting agreement under Stamp 3, are now eligible to apply for Stamp 1G. This amendment, which came into effect yesterday, extends this benefit to all qualifying individuals.

This development marks a historic decision for foreign workers in Ireland, allowing them and their spouses or partners to not only pursue employment opportunities but also enrol in further educational courses if desired.

Moreover, this amendment opens avenues for spouses of general work permit holders to access higher-skilled job opportunities. While General Employment continues to address challenges in increasing the wages of low-paid healthcare assistants, this amendment represents progress towards enhancing employment prospects for foreign workers and their families.

Officials have clarified that the existing family reunification application process for eligible partners and spouses remains unchanged for those seeking to join family members in Ireland. Additionally, individuals working under the General Employment Scheme can bring their families to Ireland within a year, subject to certain criteria.

The new provisions state that eligible spouses and partners with a Stamp 3 permit, holding an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card, can now remain in Ireland under Stamp 1G conditions, enabling them to apply for any job in the market. These individuals are not required to obtain a new IRP card; instead, they can provide a letter to employers along with their current IRP card endorsed with stamp 3.

Furthermore, eligible spouses and partners residing in Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow are not required to apply for a change to Stamp 1G at the county registration office or Garda Local Immigration Office; their existing stamp will automatically be updated to 1G.

However, these arrangements are valid only during the transition period up to May 15, 2025. Afterward, spouses and partners will need to renew their IRP cards to obtain Stamp 1G.

This amendment applies to various categories, including partners of General Employment Permit holders, Critical Skills Employment Permit holders, Multi-Site General Employment Permit Holders, and current Stamp 4 permit holders, among others.

In essence, the new rules facilitate immediate employment upon arrival for all eligible individuals, including non-EU nationals and EEA/UK/Swiss nationals joining their spouses who intend to work in Ireland under family reunification rules.

A Stamp 1G permission grants the following emigration conditions:

– Permission to work in the country without a work permit
– Permission to enrol in study courses
– Prohibition on establishing or operating a business
– Self-employment is also not permitted
– Stamp 1G registration should be renewed annually

These provisions do not extend to spouses and family members under visitor visas or study permits, nor to those who hold a Stamp 3 permit for reasons other than a work permit.

This development has been welcomed by officials of Health and Home Carers Ireland, who view it as a positive step benefiting thousands of General Work Permit holders, including those from India, who have made Ireland their home. During last year’s Work Permit Restructuring Review, the Health and Home Carers group advocated primarily for Stamp 1G permission for spouses, expressing gratitude to all General Work Permit holders in Ireland for their support.

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