Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (275)

Gino Kenny


275. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the fact that for non-EEA families, immigration permissions here are tied to one partner or spouse allowing only them to work while the other family members are economically dependent; if his attention has been further drawn to the fact that this approach acts as a block to the mobility of non-EEA workers and integration of non-EEA families here; and if he has considered introducing the family reunification directive here which operates in 25 European Union member states. [53139/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation's (DBEI) Employment Permit Section administers the Employment Permits system. DBEI are also responsible for the policies and criteria surrounding Employment Permits. 

However, on the 6 March 2019, I, along with Minister Heather Humphreys announced that the spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders would be able to access the Irish Labour Market without the need to obtain an employment permit. This change streamlined existing processes and resulted in a more attractive offering for both investment and international talent.

One of the primary benefits of the Critical Skills Employment permit over others includes the option for the permit holder to apply for immediate family reunification. Added to this has been the option for the dependent, spouse or partner to apply for a specific employment permit, should they choose to work and if they find a job, however, the existing system had resulted in unnecessary delays.

While this scheme is primarily driven by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, it is also a prime example of proactive and positive engagement between our two departments. Because of this work, the non-EEA spouses and partners of critical skills employment permit holders will no longer need an employment permit from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to work in Ireland. On arrival in the State, eligible spouses and de facto partners will be granted an immigration permission with a right to work without the need for a work permit. This enables critical skills permit holders and their families to quickly become established and assist in their integration in society.  

The Deputy will be aware that it is open to non EU/EEA and non-Swiss citizens in Ireland to apply for family reunification through the non-EEA family reunification policy document. The policy document is available for viewing under the following link:  http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Family%20Reunification%20Policy%20Document.pdf/Files/Family%20Reunification%20Policy%20Document.pdf

The provisions in the policy document are in line with those in the EU Family Reunification Directive and there is no intention to opt into the EU Family Reunification Directive at the current time.