Positive changes to the rights of dependent spouses of employment permit holders in Ireland

A positive development for the rights of dependent spouses of employment permit holders in Ireland, allowing them to enter employment without the need for a separate Employment Permit. The changes, which remove considerable barriers to the labour market for dependent spouses, has long been campaigned for by migrant communities and the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

While the Immigrant Council of Ireland notes this positive shift for spouses of employment permit holders, we note with regret that this has not been extended to other dependents of employment permit holders, notably this can be a big barrier for children of employment permit holders who are prevented from taking up paid work on a full or part time basis currently.

Welcoming the changes, Brian Killoran, CEO, Immigrant Council of Ireland said: “For too long, the spouses of those who have come to Ireland on employment permits have faced enormous barriers in accessing the labour market. These restrictions, deeply damaging as they have been to the life prospects of those impacted, have never made any logical sense. In a time when Ireland is close to full employment, it makes enormous sense to allow these individuals to progress and contribute, as is their desire. As an organization, we have repeatedly called for this change for close to 20 years, so we congratulate the Department of Justice and Minister McEntee for making this change for dependent spouses. Now it is time to go further and apply these changes to all dependents of employment permit holders in Ireland.”

The proposed change will be widely welcomed by migrant communities, some of whom have advocated for many years for better labour market access.

Also commenting on today’s announcement Valeria Aquino, Integration Manager, Immigrant Council of Ireland said: “The ability to work and progress in life in this manner is a key pillar of effective integration. The denial of that right for some who migrate to Ireland has been a dehumanizing and unjust reality for far too long. Migrants themselves, through campaigns such as the Stamp 3 Association and Stamp 3 Ireland, have articulately and passionately described this injustice and its impact upon their wellbeing. We congratulate them on their successful advocacy on this issue”

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Region: Nationwide