Impact COVID-19 on the of processing temporary work permits and The Directorate of Labour

Due to the unusual circumstances that have arisen, including heavily increased work loads at The Directorate of Labour, is evident that application processing periods will increase significantly.

Processing of new work permit applications partially postponed

The Directorate of Labour has decided that all applications for new permits on the grounds of Articles 8, 9 and 15 of the Foreign Nationals’ Right to Work Act, No. 97/2007, which were submitted to The Directorate of Immigration after the 15th of March 2020, will not be examined in substance by the directorate before the 1st of June  2020. This applies only to new applications, but not to extensions of existing permits. The categories of permits this will impact are: Temporary work permits for a job which requires special skills, temporary work permits due to a shortage of employees, and temporary work permits for specialised employees under service contacts or collaboration agreements. It is also evident that the demand for workers, both skilled and unskilled, in the domestic labour market has declined significantly. In regard to this, please be informed that temporary work permits on the grounds of Articles 8 and 9 of the Act will only be granted in instances where employees are not considered available, neither in the domestic labour market,  or within the European Economic Area, in the EFTA states or in the Faroe Islands.

Applicants of new temporary work permits in the health and aged-care sectors may request to have their permits examined in substance, as their field of work falls under the exemption of Article 1, paragraph 2, item b. of Regulation No. 238/2020 on amendments to regulation of border crossings.

Expedited processing temporarily postponed

In recent years, applicants of work and residence permits on the grounds of employment have been able to pay a fee for expedited processing of their permits, providing that certain conditions were fulfilled. Due to heavy workloads and increased work permit processing periods, it is clear that The Directorate of Labour is not able to respond to requests for expedited work permit processing within a timely manner. The directorate will therefore suspend procedures of expedited processing until the 1st of June 2020.

The above date will be re-evaluated on the 17th of May 2020

The directorate apologises for an inconvenience this may cause.

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