IRELAND: Increase in Skilled Immigration

According to recent research published by LinkedIn, around 20% more skilled workers arrived in Ireland than departed in the first quarter of 2015 with the software industry proving to be the most popular sector for skilled workers moving to the country.

The results have indicated Ireland”s attractiveness as a potential destination not only for European start-up companies looking to expand business but also US companies seeking to establish a foothold within a European Member State.

Other popular industries for attracting skilled immigrant workers are Ireland”s healthcare and retail sectors. One reason why current NHS employees may be seeking to move to Ireland is the introduction of a minimum salary threshold of £35,000 per annum for those intending to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK after completing 5 years” continuous residence here. Many NHS staff (and indeed those employed across a range of other industries) are not paid at this level, disqualifying them from being able to qualify for ILR.  Ireland may well prove to be an attractive option for healthcare professionals who are subject to – and unable to meet – these rules.

It is interesting to note that Ireland has welcomed more and more foreign workers in recent years. In 2014, over 40,000 overseas workers were granted an Irish Work Permit according to Eurostat. This number represents a 50% increase on the number of foreign workers moving to Ireland for work compared to figures in 2012.

Ireland has become increasingly popular as a destination for immigrants in general. The Irish Central Statistics Office reported that “69,300 people arrived in Ireland over the period from April 2014-2015 representing an increase of 8,500 more than the previous year”.

In the UK, tightening of the rules on immigration for ILR and increased complexities surrounding the criteria for Tier 2 visas has meant Ireland is becoming a progressively attractive option to consider for employment.

If you have any questions on the obtaining of an Irish Work Permit or other related immigration matters please contact us.


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