In our Spotlight on EMEA Series we round up the latest updates from around EMEA. In this post we look at recent changes to the Stamp 4 application process in Ireland.
Effective from 30th November 2023, in a change to the processing body Stamp 4 applications will move from the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment (DETE) and will be handled by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Applicants should note that the DETE will no longer accept applications for Stamp 4 Letters for those who held Critical Skills Employment Permits, Researchers on Hosting Agreements and Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors Multi-Site General Employment Permit Holders. The Stamp 4 Letter stage of the process has now been removed.
From the 30th November 2023 all those eligible to transition from a Stamp 1 to Stamp 4 permission will seek renewal with their relevant Irish Immigration Services Registration Office of Garda Station nearest to them. Where all required documentation is presented the applications will be assessed and managed in full.
What is the main impact of the changes?
Critical Skills Employment Permit holders, Researchers on a Hosting Agreement, and Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors MultiSite General Employment Permit holders are all directly impacted by this change.
The policy on eligibility for a Stamp 4 upgrade is 24 months residence in the State, not 24 months with issuance or start date of an employment permit. To account for the 90 days allowed for under the Immigration Act 2004 in which this cohort have to register, the DOJ will accept applications after 21 months of registration of residency permission and a holder can apply 12 weeks in advance of the expiry of their Critical Skills Employment Permit.
Eligibility for Stamp 4 in this scenario would be 21 months on a Stamp 1 from date of first registration on their Critical Skills Employment Permit. The new change in criteria means that the 21 month period will only commence once the applicant has registered their original Stamp 1 residence permission with the Department of Justice.
Whilst changes to streamline processes are always welcome, the effective change in criteria here, imposing the necessity to hold a Stamp 1 for 21 months, could have a negative impact on some permit holders. It is likely that large numbers of applicants may not meet the new criteria due to travel and registration timelines post arrival in Ireland.