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The Trusted Partner Initiative aims to streamline the employment permit process for employers/connected persons/EEA contractors by reducing the administrative burden involved in employing non-EEA nationals. The Initiative avoids the need to replicate the same employer information in respect of each employment permit application (initial applications and renewal applications).

Under the Initiative, an employer/connected person/EEA contractor can apply to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (“DBEI”) for “Trusted Partner” status. If the application is successful, the Trusted Partner is granted a unique Trusted Partner Registration Number, which is valid for two years and which enables the Trusted Partner to use simplified application forms. These forms remove the obligation on the employer/ connected person/EEA contractor to provide details relating to the employer in respect of each employment permit application.

The Initiative provides many advantages to the employment permit application process including the following:

  1. Reduced processing times in respect of employment permit applications for Trusted Partners.
  2. Reduced paperwork for every employment permit application.
  3. Shortened employment permit application forms.
  4. No applicable fee to become a Trusted Partner.

The Initiative extends to all employment permit types with the exception of EEA Contractors applying for a Contract of Services Employment Permit.

The Initiative is open to all persons who make an offer of employment, employers, connected persons and/or EEA contractors who are registered with the Revenue Commissioners and/or the Companies Registration Office. In order to be eligible, the applicant must have applied for a "large volume of employment permits" over the previous few years. There is no guidance on what constitutes a "large volume of employment permits" but in practice this seems to require at least four or five permit applications per year. An application under the Trusted Partner Initiative is made by submitting the application form and accompanying documentation to the DBEI.

In respect of applications for Intra Company Transfer Employment Permits and Contract for Service Employment Permits, evidence of existing connections with foreign employers and/ or contract service agreements are also required. The DBEI aims to process all applications to become a Trusted Partner within 2 – 5 working days.

Critically, if an application under the Trusted Partner Initiative is refused, there is no recourse to appeal the refusal. Therefore, it is imperative when applying under the Initiative, that the application form is completed correctly and that all relevant information is accurate. That said, there is nothing to stop the employer from submitting a fresh application.

Overall, the Trusted Partner Initiative fast tracks employment permit applications for Trusted Partners ensuring that the process is streamlined, predictable and efficient.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

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