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Healthcare assistant and social worker are now eligible for employment permits

On 14th June, the Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English announced the changes to the Employment Permit system that will allow more workers from outside of the EEA.

  • Healthcare assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech and language therapists will be eligible for Employment Permits.

  • Dieticians will qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit.

  • The minimum annual remuneration threshold of €27,000 had been set for healthcare assistants recruited under the scheme

  • When applying for a renewal employment permit – Health Care Assistant should have attained a relevant QQI Level 5 qualification after two years of employment in the State

Minister English announced that "these changes, which will come into effect from today, will address immediate skills and labour shortages in the healthcare and nursing home sectors. One of the principal beneficiaries of today's announcement will be the Nursing Home Sector following the removal of Healthcare Assistants from the ineligible occupation list."

He also said that the changes "will help the sector address recruitment difficulties, which have been exacerbated by Covid-19 as well as the significant planned expansion in HSE recruitment", which set out to recruit 16,000 new workers across the system.

Future Direct specialises in Irish employment permit and immigration. We welcome this change and believe it is a very appropriate response, in light of the current pandemic and evolving changes in the labour market.

We are happy to advise you on your case should you require assistance. Call us today at +353 872400433 or email


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