KPMG Law LLP logo

24 November 2023

Ireland’s Department of Justice (DOJ), in conjunction with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), has advised that from 30 November 2023, DETE (employment permits section) will cease issuing Stamp 4 support letters.1

This announcement will impact holders of Critical Skills Employment Permits, Researchers on a Hosting Agreement, and Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors with a Multi-Site General Employment Permit, who meet the eligibility requirements to transfer from a Stamp 1 to a Stamp 4 immigration permission.

Why this matters

This is a significant update in the Stamp 4 application process and its eligibility criteria.  A Stamp 4 immigration permission permits the holder to work and live in Ireland without the requirement to hold a separate employment permit.

Currently, applying for a Stamp 4 permission is a two-step process for the above outlined employment permit holders who wish to transfer immigration permissions:

  1. an application to DETE for a Stamp 4 support letter, once 21 months on an eligible employment permit in Ireland has been completed, (amongst other criteria); and, once approved
  2. an application to the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD – a division of the DOJ) for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) Stamp 4.

The change eliminates the requirement to submit a Stamp 4 support letter application to DETE (at step 1 above), simplifying the process to one step.  From 30 November 2023, the application to transfer immigration permissions can be submitted directly to the Registration Office, ISD.

There is an additional eligibility requirement to complete 21 months under an IRP Stamp 1 card in Ireland, which is the corresponding residence permission issued to holders of a Critical Skills Employment Permit, Researchers on a Hosting Agreement, and Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor with a Multi-Site General Employment Permit.

Further details

In summary

This will streamline the Stamp 4 application process for employers and applicants by removing the extra application step to DETE. Applicants will need to make sure that they meet the ”21 months of residence” criteria, in addition to the other criteria as part of their eligibility.

If employers or individuals have questions regarding their Stamp 4 permission eligibility and the change in process, they should consult with their qualified immigration counsel, or they can contact a member of the Immigration and Employment Law team with KPMG Law in Ireland.


1  See Department of Justice, Immigration Service Delivery, “Notice regarding Stamp 4 support letters Issued by the Dept. of Enterprise Trade and Employment.”  

Contact the team

owen lewis

Aoife Newton

Head of Employment and Immigration Law