Based on the information I found here, a Critical Skills Employment Permit is issued for 2 years, and if the holder is still employed at the end of that 2 year period, they can convert the work permit into a Stamp 4, which is valid for a further 2 years and allows the holder to be employed without needing to obtain a permit. At the end of that 2 year period, Stamp 4 can be renewed again, and 1 year into the renewed Stamp 4, the holder will meet the 5 year residency requirement for naturalization (assuming they have not been absent from Ireland for too long).
Suppose I am a skilled worker, but I am tired of working and I just want to immigrate to Ireland, stay employed for the shortest period of time possible, and then retire in Ireland on the savings that I have previously earned while working in the United States (I will not require any welfare from the Irish government). Obviously I will need to work in Ireland for at least 2 years to get the initial Stamp 4, but then what?
- Will I need to remain employed for an additional 2 years in order to renew Stamp 4 or can it be renewed without regard to employment status? (I could not find any information online about whether or not employment is required for a renewal of Stamp 4.)
- Will I need to remain employed for all 5 years in order to naturalize? (I don't necessarily need citizenship, but it seems that getting a truly permanent residence permit for a foreigner requires 8 years of residency, so citizenship is faster.)