Google was the single biggest recipient of work permits for non-nationals this year, according to new figures. However, the search engine behemoth secured fewer permits this year than in 2012. The technology giant received 131 work permits for non-nationals in 2013 – but in 2012, it was granted 147 permits.
Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook only received a third of the number of work permits this year than it did in 2012, as the number of permits dished out by the Government to foreign workers continues to fall. The social networking giant was granted 31 work permits in 2013 – but in 2012, it got 91.
The Irish Government granted 2,905 work permits this year – about 30 per cent less than it did in 2012 and less than half the number approved in 2010. Almost 7,300 work permits were granted in 2010.
"Given the economic climate, the availability of labour, and the fact that the employment permit system is only applicable where skill and labour shortages exist, the numbers of permit applications and consequent numbers of permits issued have been showing a downward trend since 2010," said a spokesman for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
Mauritians are the most likely foreign workers to be turned down for an Irish work permit – six out of 10 people from the tropical island were refused a permit this year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Bangladesh and Pakistan also had a high refusal rate.
About one in three Brazilians was turned down for a work permit this year. India took the majority of work permits, picking up 1,089 of the 2,905 permits granted by the Government this year. Indians were amongst the least likely to get turned down for a work permit, along with workers from Japan, Israel, Hong Kong, Iran, Lebanon the USA.
"With some countries, you may have a lot of applicants with certain occupations and the need for that occupation may not be that great here," said Edwina Shanahan, marketing manager with Visa First. "Carer and hospitality jobs, for example, could easily be filled by people in Ireland. A key thing with a work permit is that you need to show that there is no one in Ireland who can fill the job."