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Working Visas/Work Authorisations for Employment in Ireland.  February 1st 2007

To facilitate the recruitment of suitably qualified people from non-EEA* countries for designated sectors of the employment market where skill shortages are particularly acute, for example in nursing and midwifery, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in June 2000, first introduced a Working Visa and Work Authorisation scheme. This scheme has ceased with effect from the 31st December 2006 and new procedures have been agreed for employment permit applications in respect of nurses and midwives. These new arrangements apply to all applications received after February 1st 2007.

Current Working Visa/Work Authorisation Holders are not effected by the New Employment Permit Arrangements and can continue to work on their current Visas or Authorisations till they expire.

Any renewals of current Working Visa/Work Authorisation will continue to be processed by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Please refer to the Employment Permits section of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment website for further details.

(*European Economic Area comprises EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.)

Work permits for Spouses. February 1st 2007

The introduction of work permits for spouses will give greater ease of access to employment for eligible spouses, under specific schemes and facilities. The Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment has published a document entitled Guide to Work Permits for Spouses and Dependants of Employment  Permit Holders is available on the department website at .

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) welcomes this development.  It is anticipated that the eligibility of spouses to work permits under specific conditions will have a positive impact on the retention of nurses and midwives from non-EEA countries working within the Irish health services.

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