English speaking and looking for EU residency? Check out Ireland

Tourists eat their lunch by the roadside in the Doo Lough Pass near the town of Wesport in County Galway on the West Coast of Ireland. (REUTERS)

When it comes to immigration to a European country where local language skills are valued, the UK is for many the first option that comes to mind.

However, just a little more north is another, maybe even more accessible option for those who would like to live and work in the EU.

Ireland runs an immigration programme offering residency for certain professionals that are in demand in the country. More occupations have recently been added to the list of skills in demand.

The focus of the immigration programme is on high-skilled labour. Ireland has some serious skills shortages in some particular industries, concluded local recruiters.

Work permits are available for occupations with a salary of €30,000 or more.  Typically, these include jobs for ICT professionals, health professionals, engineers and scientists.

With changes implemented on the first of this month, some new occupations have been added to the list.

Radiation therapists, orthodontists, prosthetists, chiropractors, IT engineers, mobility instructors for people with impaired vision and meat boners are now sought after.

"Talent mismatch continues to be a problem because of many highly-skilled workers relocating after losing their jobs during the recession. This in turn created skills shortages across some industry sectors, was written in the global skills index, an annual report that evaluates the 'different dynamics of skilled labour markets across 31 countries written by recruitment specialist Hays.

According to immigration consultants Ireland is a good alternative to its British neighbour, especially now that recent changes have made it more difficult to gain residency in the UK.

"Immigrants in the UK who are unable to remain in the UK and others should consider Ireland as an immigration destination.

It is easier to come under the Irish work permit scheme than the UK Tier 2 visa scheme. It is also easier to gain Irish permanent residence and Irish citizenship than the equivalent in the UK.

"Once you are an Irish citizen you and your family and live and work freely throughout the EU," said Sanwar Ali Editor of workpermit.com.

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