The Contract for Services Employment Permit replaces the Contract Service Provider class of Work Permit Employment Permit.
The Contract for Services Employment Permit is designed for situations where a foreign undertaking (Contractor) has won a contract to provide services to an Irish entity (Relevant Person) on a contract for services basis and to facilitate the transfer of non-EEA employees to work on the Irish contract in Ireland.
The contract involved must be a one-to-one contract with an Irish entity – documentary evidence of this contract may be requested. Employment permits will not be considered in instances where work is being subcontracted to a third party. Permits can only be considered for the term of the contact. Applications may be granted for a maximum period of up to 24 months in the first instance and may be extended upon application to a maximum stay of 5 years.
The Department’s preference is for all employment permit holders to be employed, salaried and paid under an Irish employment contract and therefore in the case of Contract for Services Employment Permits it applies strict criteria in these situations as employees are remaining employed by a foreign based employer.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment examines a number of criteria when assessing a Contract for Services Employment Permit application. The full details of what is required are set out on the prescribed application form.
Where the contract is short-term (that is, up to 3 months) the applicant may wish to consider applying to the Department of Justice under the Atypical Working Scheme.
Contract for Services Employment Permits are strictly limited to positions required for the service of the contract and cannot be considered for any occupations listed in the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits or those contrary to the public interest.
The employee in question must have been working for a minimum period of 6 months with the Contractor prior to transfer in order to support the contention that the Contractor was awarded the contract on the basis of the skills and service he or she could provide.
At the cessation of the contract or when the permit expires the permit holder in question must leave the State.
It should be noted that a permit holder after holding a Contract for Services Employment Permit for one year may apply for an alternative employment permit, for example, a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a General Employment Permit. The application will be evaluated in line with the normal applicable criteria and rules for the employment permit type.
Spouses/dependants/partners of Contract for Service Employment Permit holders are not eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit and must apply for a separate employment permit in their own right, for example, a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a General Employment Permit.
In terms of the criteria relating to the employer, that is, the ‘Contractor’:
- The Contractor in question must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners as an employer, and, if applicable, be registered with the Companies Registration Office.
- Employment permits will not issue unless at the time of application at least 50% of the employees of the Contractor or the Relevant Person (that is, person in the State with whom a contractor has entered into a contract of service) are EEA nationals.
A Labour Market Needs Test is required in most cases, other than:
- Applications in respect of occupations on the Critical Skills Occupations List.
- Where the job offer is in respect of an eligible employment with a minimum annual remuneration of €64,000, or
- Applications submitted with a recommendation from the Enterprise Development Agencies (this applies to client companies of Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland only).
In order to achieve the minimum annual remuneration threshold of €40k for a Contract for Services Employment Permit, the following components are deemed to be remuneration:
- Basic salary to achieve at least National Minimum Wage or a rate of pay fixed under or pursuant to any enactment, as the first component of the remuneration package.
- In addition, the following components may be added to bring the proposed remuneration to the appropriate employment permits threshold of €40k:
- A payment for board and accommodation, or either of them, or the monetary value of board and accommodation directly provided by the contractor and
- Health insurance payments made to a health insurer registered with the Health Insurance Authority on its Register of Health Benefits Undertakings under Section 14 Health Insurance Act, 1994 or what the Minister is satisfied is the equivalent.
All components of the remuneration must be paid by the contractor.
It is a condition of the grant of the Employment Permit that the following information is included in the non-EEA national’s payslips:
(a) The amount of the basic salary that is paid at the time of the making of the application by the foreign employer to the foreign national
(b) where the amount of basic salary is less than National Minimum Wage or a rate of pay fixed under or pursuant to any enactment, the additional payment to be made by the foreign employer to the foreign national
(c) The total amount of the amounts referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b)
(d) All deductions to be made by the foreign employer on the amounts referred to in (a) and (b) above, (if any)
(e) in respect of the total amount referred to in (c) above, the amount to be paid to the foreign national during the period for which the employment permit is to be granted net of the deductions referred to in (d) above.
Payslips are required to be submitted at time of renewal of an employment permit. Payslips that do not clearly set out the basic salary as set out above will affect the application for renewal.
Information that clearly demonstrates either the payment or monetary value of the board and/or accommodation component of the remuneration package and/or the payment of health insurance will also be required at time of application for renewal of the employment permit.
Renewals of current Contract Service Provider class of Employment Permits
The revised definition of remuneration above has implications for those Contract Service Provider class of Work Permit Employment Permits due for renewal post-commencement of the Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014. Further information can be found in the Important Notice about the transitional arrangements for the renewal of Contract Service Provider class of Employment Permits. Failure to make the necessary changes could adversely affect an application for renewal.
The application process
An application for any employment permit must be received at least 12 weeks before the proposed employment start date.
The Contractor must make the employment permit application for a Contract for Services Employment Permit.
An application can be made online on the Employment Permits Online System. There is a User Guide (PDF document) available on the online system which guides the applicant through the process and details the documentary requirements for each employment permit type.
There are up to three stages in the passage of an employment permit application:
- Application received (awaiting processing): Once an application is submitted and the associated fees, if appropriate, are recorded the application is then placed in the relevant processing queue depending on the Employer type, that is, Trusted Partner or Standard. Please note that applications are processed strictly in date order by Employer Type and applicants can keep track of our current processing dates. They can also check the progress of their specific application online on our Online Status Update Enquiry facility.
- Processing stage: This stage is where the application is considered by a decision maker, an official with decision making authority. The processor may request additional information, if required, which should be returned within 28 days. The processor will then either grant an application or refuse it for specific reasons.
- Review: Where an applicant wishes a refusal decision to be reviewed then he/she may do so within 28 days on the prescribed Submission of a Decision for Review Form. The review will be considered by a separate and more senior official. The confirmation of a refusal decision on review does not preclude the applicant from submitting a new application following all of the relevant procedures for the specific employment permit type.
The processing fee for a first time Contract for Services Employment Permit is
- €500 for an employment permit of 6 months or less duration or
- €1,000 for an employment permit from 6 months up to 24 months duration.
The processing fee for renewal of a permit is
- €750 – for an employment permit of 6 months or less duration or
- €1,500 – for an employment permit from 6 months, up to 36 months duration.
Detailed information on fee requirements and certain waivers can be found on our Fees for Employment Permits page.
If an application is unsuccessful 90% of the fee will be refunded.
Following a successful application for an employment permit, and if visa required, an applicant should apply to his/her local Irish Embassy/Consulate for an entry visa. An online visa application form may be found at inis.gov.ie. Contact details for Irish Embassies/Consulates and a list of visa required countries may be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs website dfa.ie.
Any persons wishing to enter the State, whether visa required or not, are subject to the usual immigration controls at the port of entry. Therefore, all relevant and supporting documentation, including the original employment permit, must be available for inspection by an Immigration Officer. Entry to the State is always at the discretion of the Immigration Officer.
An employment permit is not a Residence Permission. In order to be lawfully resident in the State, it is a requirement that all non-EEA nationals in possession of an employment permit must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. It is in the best interest of the persons concerned to register as soon as possible following arrival. Immigration permission to remain should, where applicable, be renewed at least one month before the expiry date in order to avoid unlawful presence in the State.
Holders of Contract for Services Employment Permits do not accrue rights for long term residency purposes as the employment permit is available on the basis that the employment is temporary.
**Update on current position due to COVID-19 national emergency.**
The current arrangements, whereby an application to renew an employment permit can be submitted up to 4 months in advance of the employment permit expiry date and up to one month after the employment permit has expired, will continue.
In general, the immigration permission of an employment permit holder is linked to their employment permit permission with the immigration permission expiring upon the expiration of an employment permit. The Department advises that an employment permit holder may continue to work whilst their renewal application permit is being processed and in such instances no person will be asked to cease work or to leave the country, where the employment permit has expired. When an employment permit has issued the permit holder may apply to the Department of Justice to update their immigration permission.
This policy applies to the holders of Contract for Services Employment Permits and holders of current Work Permit Employment Permits in respect of contract service providers which issued before 1 October 2014.
The duration of a Contract for Services Employment Permit is for the defined period given with regard to the contract.
Applications may be granted for a maximum period of up to 24 months in the first instance and may be extended upon application to a maximum stay of 5 years.
An application in respect of the renewal of a permit can be made online on the Employment Permits Online System within 16 weeks prior to the expiry of the existing permit, on the relevant form and supplying the information and documentation requested thereon.
Transfer of Undertakings
The holders of Contract for Services Employment Permits can change employers where a transfer of employment has taken place under the European Communities (Protection of Employees on Transfer of Undertakings) Regulations 2003 (SI No 131 of 2003). As the relevant person’s name is also on the employment permit in force, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is also required to be informed by the contactor where a transfer of employment takes place in the relevant person.
Where, pursuant to a transfer of undertaking, there is a change of name in the contractor or relevant person, the contractor (whose name is on the existing Employment) must complete and send in to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment the prescribed Transfer of Undertaking Form. This form can now be submitted by email to email@example.com.
Where the change of name is pursuant to a transfer of undertaking, and it is confirmed that the contract, terms, conditions, description, and location/s as specified on the existing employment permit remain the same, the Department will issue a new permit to the permit holder/s and certified copy/ies to the contractor. Failure to notify the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment of a transfer of undertaking in the contractor or relevant person could affect the application for renewal.
Cancellation of Employment Permits
This policy applies to the holders of Contract for Service Employment Permits and holders of current Work Permits Employment Permits for contract for service providers which issued before the 1 October 2014.
In accordance with section 24(1) of the Employment Permits Act 2006 should a non-EEA national, for whatever reason, cease to be employed by the Contractor during the period of the Contract for Service Employment Permit’s validity the permit and the Contractor’s certified copy must be returned to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment within 4 weeks from the date of termination or cessation. A Contractor or an employee who fails to comply with this subsection is guilty of an offence.
All such permits which are returned to the Employment Permit Section in line with this will be changed to a Cancelled status on the Employment Permits Management System and these permits will no longer be valid.