Reduction in Skilled immigration to Ireland
05 January 2011
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At the close of 2010, only 18,987 foreign nationals held work permits, down from 23,470 in 2009 and 30,556 in 2008. There has been a significant increase in unemployment as a result of the global financial crisis of 2008. Also, stricter immigration requirements imposed by the Government mean it is more difficult to emigrate to Ireland.
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When unemployment took a turn for the worse in Ireland, the Government increased the time that an employer must post a job to enable Irish citizens and residents to apply before looking overseas.
Only 7,786 work permits were issued in 2010 to non-EU citizens, with Indian nationals taking a significant share of work permits at 2,137. In fact, more Indians immigrated to Ireland in 2010 than in 2009; 1,788 work permits issued to workers from India in 2009.
Organisations based in Ireland that issued the most work permits to non-EU nationals were the Health Service Executive, followed by Indian tech company Wipro Technologies and US firm Google.
While skilled immigration into Ireland is decreasing overall, Ireland is still a magnet for highly skilled migrants.
"These work permit figures reflect the fact there will always be a certain level of high-skills technology, medical and engineering intra-company transfers into Ireland," said Bill Abom of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland.