Meet Jane Pilkington, Managing Director, Ireland

On Wednesday, May 22, Newland Chase’s Managing Director of Ireland, Jane Pilkington, will team up with Mark Hynes, Tax Director for BDO Ireland, to deliver their live webinar Doing Business in Ireland: Immigration and Tax Issues for Foreign Business Travellers and Corporate Assignees.

They will be discussing the attractive opportunities in Ireland for international business and must-have information on visas, immigration, and taxes for foreign business travelers and corporate assignees doing business in the country.

Host for next week’s webinar, Newland Chase’s Kent O’Neil, recently had a chance to connect with Jane in her office in Dublin. They discussed the Irish business and immigration climate, the upcoming webinar, and her career in business immigration law. Below are some of the highlights of that conversation.

Kent:  “I think I know the answer to this question, but let’s kick off with… Why a webinar on Ireland at this time?

Jane: “I’ll talk about how great Ireland is quite generally, but why now specifically? There is a lot of interest in Ireland as an international business destination right now. For one, it currently has the strongest economy in the EU; so the business fundamentals are strong. The local workforce is younger and more skilled than you find in many other European countries. Looking at immigration specifically… immigration isn’t generally seen as a negative in Ireland. You are not seeing a lot of the backlash against immigration that you’re currently seeing in many other developed countries. It’s a good time to look at Ireland for business.”

Kent: “So the Irish government sees immigration as an economic benefit rather than a negative to be protected against like we’re seeing in many countries?”

Jane: “Definitely. With the solid economy, the labour market is essentially at full employment, and we are even seeing labour shortages in many occupations. Just a month ago, the Irish Government added numerous construction-related occupations to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and removed others from the Ineligible List of Occupations. And it’s not just the Government... 

...Immigration has a generally positive view in the eyes of the public. Around 17 percent of the current Irish population were born elsewhere. So they're generally welcoming to immigrants.”

Kent: “What impact is Brexit having on Ireland?”

Jane: “The most noticeable impact thus far has been the sharp rise in applications for Irish passports.  This trend started in the first months after the Brexit referendum in 2016, but it hit record levels in 2018 and has continued into the first part of this year. Most of the applications are coming from the UK – UK citizens wanting to have the benefit of an additional passport for Ireland to preserve their rights to travel as EU citizens after Brexit.  Its estimated that there are at least six million UK citizens or more who qualify for Irish passports through having an Irish born parent or grandparent.”    

Jane_Pilkington_600x400-1Kent:  “What about businesses? Are you seeing a lot of companies migrating from the UK to Ireland now?”

Jane:  The expected avalanche of Brexodus companies moving to Ireland and to other EU countries has not, as yet, happened. Although some companies have already made the move to Ireland, the general view is that the focus to date has been on moving capital, rather than jobs. However, there is an expectation that the jobs will follow and that Ireland is emerging as one of the main contenders for companies considering a Brexit move. The IDA (Irish Development Authority) is certainly doing a great job of pitching Ireland as an attractive option for business – both based on the current business climate and the fact that Ireland is committed to remaining in the EU.”

Kent:  “So the webinar you and Mark are presenting ties right into that trend – individuals and businesses who are either currently doing business in Ireland or considering it?”

Jane:  “Yes. We wanted to address the most common issues we see. Whether it is a business trip or an actual work assignment in Ireland – both have potential immigration and tax implications, depending on the particulars of the activity. The length of stay and activities dictate the immigration requirements and tax implications. We’re going to try to cover the range of assignments from the short, traditional business trip to long-term work assignments – and point out the immigration and tax issues to watch for in each.”

Kent:  “I like that you are partnering with Mark Hynes from BDO. Oftentimes visa and immigration implications go hand-in-hand with the tax implications.”  

 Jane is a well-known face in the Irish business and legal community. A lawyer in Ireland for almost 20 years, she is a highly regarded expert on Irish business immigration. Her list of clients reads like a who’s who of the world’s most successful global technology, pharma, aerospace and social media companies. She is an in-demand speaker at international conferences and events – speaking on Irish immigration law to immigration lawyers and other global mobility professionals.

Jane’s introduction to the field of immigration was early in her career, while training at a small law practice. She went on to practice both business immigration and commercial litigation at two of Ireland’s most prestigious law firms – before accepting the position as Manager Director at Newland Chase’s newly established Irish entity last year.

Kent: “Commercial litigation and business immigration… that is an interesting combination. Have you found the skills you developed as a litigator to be an asset in business immigration?”

Jane: “Yes, I believe the litigation skills that I have developed over the years have proved useful in immigration as well.  Particularly the ability to try to persuade, convince, and negotiate when issues arise or when you have unusual or difficult cases.”

Kent:  “Shifting away from work… I see on your LinkedIn profile that you served for four years as Board Director for Sing Ireland. Tell me about that.”

Jane:  “It was previously known as the Association of Irish Choirs. It’s a not-for-profit organization formed to promote and develop choral singing in Ireland and has recently re-branded as “Sing Ireland”."

Kent:  “So I take it you’re a music fan. Any particular genre?”

Jane: “Most genres…contemporary music, musicals and classical. I also enjoy opera.”

Kent:  “Any favorite operas?”

Jane: “Anything by Puccini… and I also really like Bizet’s Carmen.”

Kent:  “How about long-term plans or dreams… if time and money were no object? What would you do?”

Jane:When I was in college I worked abroad each summer. So one summer I lived in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York and worked in FAO Schwarz, the famous toy shop on Fifth Avenue and also worked as a hotel receptionist. Another summer I lived in Bordeaux in France and although we tried to find jobs as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers, we ended up picking plums in the Lot Valley and walnuts in the Dordogne. Although it’s a bit of a cliché, I do believe that travel and experience of other cultures broadens the mind. I would love to travel more and to experience more of the world.”

Kent:  Plum picker to Managing Director of Ireland… might make an interesting memoir title.”


Get more insight from Jane and BDO Ireland’s Mark Hynes on doing business in Ireland as a foreign national – particularly valuable immigration and tax guidance. Their live, interactive webinar Doing Business in Ireland: Immigration and Tax Issues for Foreign Business Travellers and Corporate Assignees will be Wednesday, May 22 at 2pm IST/BST (9am ET). You can register here.

All live attendees will have the opportunity to get answers to pressing question in real time. All those registered will receive a complimentary recording emailed to them after the live session.

 Newland Chase, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIBT, is the leading global provider of immigration and visa services for corporations and individuals with over 1,700 expert immigration and visa professionals, attorneys and qualified migration consultants located in over 70 offices in 25 countries. 

With thirty years of experience, CIBT is the primary service provider to 75% of Fortune 500 companies. CIBT offers a comprehensive suite of services under two primary brands: Newland Chase, focused on global immigration strategy and advisory services for corporations worldwide and CIBTvisas, the market leader for business and other travel visa services for corporate and individual clients.