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Central Depository


Following a series of recommendations made by the Government Task Force on Non-European Economic Area (Non - EEA) workers in the Irish Fishing Fleet in December 2015, it was decided that non-EEA crew members working in the whitefish fleet will come under the Atypical Working Scheme, which is administered by the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) section of the Department of Justice & Equality.

Atypical Working Scheme

Please note that full details of the Scheme are set out in the Appendix to the Task Force Report and all applicants should read that Report, as well as that contained on the ISD website.

  • The Scheme will apply only to non-officer crew members working on boats which are over 15 metres in overall length and licensed and registered in the Polyvalent, Beamer or Specific Segments of the Irish sea-fishing fleet.

  • From 15 May 2016 all non-EEA workers intending to work in the fishing industry must obtain an Atypical Worker Permission from ISD and visa clearance, if applicable, prior to entering the State.

  • For the purposes of the Scheme, all crew from non-EEA countries must be employed directly by a sea-fishing boat licence holder under a written contract of employment for duration of 12 months.

  • Prior to applying to the ISD for an Atypical Worker Permission, the contract of employment and supporting documentation between the non-EEA worker and the boat owner must first be lodged with the Central Depository Unit of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.  


Application Process


A solicitor, acting on behalf of the boat owner, must submit to the Central Depository Unit the contract of employment and supporting documentation (see below).  If the submission is in order, the contract will be recorded and assigned a unique reference number.  This reference number must be entered on the crew member’s Atypical Worker Permission application form when applying to ISD.

The recording of a contract is no guarantee that an Atypical Worker Permission or a visa/Immigration Permission will be granted.

Documentation required

A solicitor acting on behalf of the boat owner (employer) should submit the following to the Central Depository Unit:-

  • Certification, from the solicitor acting on behalf of the boat owner/employer, that the terms of the Scheme have been met and that a contract of employment is in place that meets all the pre-conditions of the Scheme. Certification for Scheme (doc 12Kb)    

  • A copy of the contract in the crew member’s native language is also required
  • Copy of the Sea-fishing Boat Licence(s) for the boat(s) on which the crew member will be contracted to work.

  • Evidence of previous employment or relevant qualification as a fisher.

  • Statement from the boat owner/employer that he/she will enrol the crew member in the Basic Safety Training course offered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and that training will be completed in advance of the crew member commencing employment on the fishing boat. (In the case of crew members already in possession of a BIM Safety Card, it is recommended that this safety training be revalidated every five years.)

  • Statement from the boat owner/employer that he/she will comply with the Sea-fishing Boat Licence condition that at least 50% of the crew of a sea-fishing boat must be nationals of EU Member States.

If any of the above documents are not included with the application to the Central Depository Unit the submission will be returned to the solicitor as incomplete.

In order to ensure that all the necessary documents have been submitted, solicitors should use the attached Checklist. Checklist for Central Depository (doc 47Kb)   

Next Steps

Once the Central Depository Unit has assigned a unique reference number to the contract of employment the applicant may apply to ISD for an Atypical Worker Permission.

Data Protection

Information submitted to the Central Depository Unit under the Scheme will be made available to ISD in order to progress the crew member’s application.  Such information will only be released to other parties in accordance with the law.

Central Depository Contact Details

By post: Central Depository Unit, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, National Seafood Centre, Clogheen, Clonakilty, Co. Cork. P85 TX47

By email:



·        at least the provisions set out in Minimum Contract Terms Non-EEA Fishing Crew Members Updated 04.05.22 (doc 24Kb)       

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