Effective 1 September to 31 October 2022, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment started issuing all employment permits in an electronic format with the addition of the signature of a senior official on behalf of the Minister, as well as a unique permit number. There is no requirement to exchange current permits for this updated permit format and all existing permits issued will continue to remain valid.
Also effective 1 September 2022, non-EEA doctors already in Ireland for 21 months or more with a General Employment Permit may apply for a new permission granting them the right to work without a permit. Their spouses or partners will also receive a permission allowing them to work.
The request for Stamp 4 support letter form should be completed and returned, along with a recent payslip, to EPStamp4@enterprise.gov.ie marking the subject title Doctors Stamp 4 Request. An acknowledgement email will be issued shortly after submission of the form. No further action is required by the applicant.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment will notify applicants once applications are approved and will send requests on the applicants’ behalf to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice will then process applications and issue the Stamp 4 permission directly to the doctors concerned. Applicants must ensure that their address and contact details held by the Department of Justice are correct.
Poland has expanded its Poland Business Harbour (PBH) programme to cover nationals of any country working in strategic industries. Originally the scheme was available only to Belarusian nationals, and in 202 it was expanded to include nationals of Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Under the scheme, individual IT specialists, start-ups and mature companies sponsored by a polish partner company can obtain a special visa allowing the holder to work without a work permit, set up business activity, and bring their immediate family to Poland.
Under a newly approved Mobility Agreement, Portugal will expedite visa processing for nationals of other Portuguese-speaking countries.
The member states of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries (CPLP) are Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Sāo Tomé and Principe.
Portuguese consulates can now issue short-stay, temporary or residence visas to citizens of these countries without a prior opinion from the Borders and Immigration Agency (SEF).
Other changes introduced recently include:
- A new jobseeker visa, issued for a stay of 120 days, renewable for another 60 days. If the holder finds a job during this time, they can apply for work-based residence status from within Portugal, rather than having to exit and apply from abroad.
- The possibility of granting a visa for temporary stay and residence to professionals who work remotely outside Portugal (digital nomads).
- The EU Blue Card is now valid for an initial two years, renewable for three years at a time. Previously it was valid for one year and renewable for two years at a time.
- Effective 1 October 2022, masks will no longer be required on airplanes but will still be required on long-distance trains and in healthcare settings.
- The German state governments will be able to require people to wear masks in restaurants and other indoor areas and on public transport.