What is it?

The Trusted Partner Initiative (the "Scheme") was launched by the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation on 12 May 2015.  The Scheme is a fast track method for frequent users of the employment permits system to obtain employment permits as quickly as possible.  This is a welcome development to the existing system, as it aims to improve the efficiency of the current process by improving the turnaround time for applications and reducing the administrative burden for applicants. 

Who can apply?

Subject to limited exceptions, the Scheme is open to:

  • employers in Ireland who make offers of employment to non-EEA nationals; and 
  • EEA contractors who have been awarded a contract in Ireland with an Irish company and the Contractor seeks to send employees who are non-EEA nationals to facilitate the contract. 

Prior to becoming a Trusted Partner, both employer and EEA contractor applicants must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners as an employer.  The Scheme will extend to all permit types, except in the case of Contract for Services Employment Permits, where it will only facilitate EEA Contractors. 

Why apply?

Successful applicants to the Scheme will be granted Trusted Partner status for two years at no cost.

While the requirements of each employment permit will still need to be met, the Scheme provides employers with a unique Trusted Partner Registration Number and access to their own suite of employment permit application forms, which removes the requirement to provide all employer details every time an employer submits a permit application form. 

This means that, while the signature and details of the foreign national will still be required in each case, the host and sending entities will no longer need to sign the permit application form.

The aim is that, as there will be reduced paper work for Trusted Partner applications, the turnaround time will be significantly reduced. 

What do applicants to the Scheme need to do to apply?

Applicants need to complete a Trusted Partner Registration application form.  The applicant must provide details in relation to:

  • their registration with the Companies Registration office or Registry of Friendly Societies (as relevant); 
  • their registration with the Revenue Commissioners; and 
  • their relationship with foreign employers (this generally relates to group companies) or details of contract service agreements with Irish entities, in the case of contracts for services.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.