As the economy improves and we approach full employment my Department has experienced a high volume of employment permit applications which has led to some delays in processing applications.
The Employment Permits section in my Department is working to reduce the current waiting times of four weeks for applications from Trusted Partners who are regular users of the service, and account for 71% of total permits issued, and twelve weeks for Standard applications, which account for 29% of permits issued.
In order to reduce processing times, the Employment Permits section has introduced a number of operational changes, streamlined processes and implemented ICT solutions. Additional staffing resources have also been assigned to the section and a fast track training programme has been devised. In addition a Business Process Reengineering Review for the Employment Permits section will commence shortly as a first step in the development of a new IT processing system which will take advantage of all the new technologies available, including full digitisation.
Applicants have always been advised by my Department to apply for an employment permit 12 weeks in advance of the expected start date. This should help to minimise any impact of the current extended processing timelines on recruitment timeframes.
I can assure you that all available resources are being deployed with the aim of reducing processing times. My officials have been proactively engaging with customers to notify them of current delays through email, meetings and regular updates on the Employment Permits section of my Department’s website.