Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holders cannot apply for a Stamp 4, which allows them to work without company sponsorship, unless they have completed the requisite two years under their current CSEP.
Previously, CSEP holders could add up time spent on multiple CSEPs to meet this requirement.
Until recently, CSEP holders could apply for a Stamp 4 after two years, regardless of the number of CSEPs the foreign worker held during the previous two-year period. For example, a CSEP holder working for one employer might later change jobs and obtain a new CSEP with a different employer. Under the previous approach, the authorities would have allowed the worker to combine the time spent under both CSEPs and obtain a Stamp 4 in two years. Under the new approach, only time spent under the current CSEP will count toward fulfilling the two-year requirement.
Eligibility for long-term residency and naturalisation are not affected by this policy. Similarly, this does not affect holders of other types of permits in Ireland, such as a General or Intra-Company Transfer employment permit.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals who obtain multiple CSEPs cannot apply for a Stamp 4 until they have held their current CSEP for two years.
Employers in Ireland must employ CSEP holders per the terms of that CSEP, for the full two-year period, to ensure the employee is eligible to switch to a Stamp 4.