Work Visa for Fishermen

As of today the take up on the Atypical Work Visa Scheme that allows non EEA Fishermen, such as those from the Philippines and Egypt has had a very slow take up.

The deadline for the take up of this scheme is the 15th of May 2016.

I have received many enquiries about both the take up under this scheme and indeed what is going to happen once the deadline passes.

In relation to what happens when the deadline passes are two fold:

1. Only those residing outside of the State will be able to apply. The scheme was never designed to allow people to apply from within the Jurisdiction and at the moment what is happening is effectively an amnesty.
2. It is my belief that the various agencies of the State will commence a clamp down. The MSO, the SFPA and the Navy will all start looking for the documentation. I believe that there will be pressure to prosecute on the basis that the Minister gave the industry a chance to sort the problem out and the view will be that anyone who did not take the opportunity, will be found and prosecuted.

Steps to be taken:

1. You should speak with any crew member who is not European.
2. Ask them have they taken any steps in relation to their Immigration status. A surprising number of people have already commenced with some step themselves.
3. If they have an immigration card already you need to ensure that they have a stamp 4. This means that they can work freely on your boat.
4. If they do not, then you need to apply.

What is required:

There is little required to commence an application:

1. Copy of the person’s passport
2. Copy of any training qualifications or an appointment with BIM. I know of a number of instances where the MSO have accepted a Philippines certificate in relation to training.
3. Address for the applicant.
4. Names of the vessels he will be working on.
5. Name, phone number and email address of the owner
6. Execute the various documents required to process the application.


1. Application fee to the Department is €250. Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Secretary General, Department of Justice and Equality’
2. Upon completion of the application, €300 fee is payable to the local immigration officer which is the local Garda Station.

Legal fees:

Conways Solicitors are processing a good number of these applications.

Our professional fee for drafting and customising all of the documents, submitting them, dealing with queries and objections and advising through out is €650 plus vat @ 23%. There are no additional charges save and except for a formal appeal process.

Queries that the Department raise or initial refusals are not formal Appeals.

Please contact me at

Or on either of the telephone numbers below.

Kind Regards

Dermot Conway
Conways Solicitors
+353 21 4901000
360 The Capel Building, 35 South Terrace
Mary’s Abbey, Cork
Dublin 8 DX 2084 Cork
+353 1 4373323