As of the 31st of January 2020, the United Kingdom has withdrawn from the European Union. This will have no immediate impact on immigration as both parties have negotiated a transition period which may last until the 31st of December 2020. With the United Kingdom’s departure, some questions have arisen for British nationals currently residing in Ireland.

The rights of British Nationals currently residing in Ireland should be maintained due to the Common Travel Area (CTA), an agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom which predates the European Union. The Irish and UK governments have committed to maintain the CTA, including a memorandum of understanding signed on the 8th of May 2019. The CTA being maintained will ensure the following:

  1. There will continue to be a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This border will remain free of any formal immigration controls.
  2. British citizens residing in Ireland will continue to enjoy the right to live, work, study and access services and to vote in certain elections as is currently the case. There will be no requirement for an entry visa, any form of employment permit or residence permit as is currently the case.

EU Treaty Rights on the basis of Spouse of British Nationals – The withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK have stated that EU member States, including Ireland, will have to make arrangements for the non-EEA family members of British Nationals. Currently, INIS have not released any further information on the rights of Non-EEA nationals currently residing in the State. Details of further arrangements made will be announced closer to the end of the transition period.

Processing Times

Processing times are still delayed for both Trusted Partner (6 weeks)  and standard processing (12 weeks), due to high number of applications received by the DBEI for processing.


VFS, China

Due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus, VFS Visa Application Centres (VACs) around China currently remain closed until the 24th February 2020.

In Beijing, visits to the Irish Visa office by members of the public are also by appointment letter only, with no date as to when the centres will return to normal.

Please see the following for more information:


Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Dublin

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration service have also issued an urgent appeal for anyone who has booked an appointment for the coming week for registration at the Burgh Quay Registration Office of the Department of Justice & Equality.

They have advised any individual who has been to mainland China within 14 days of a scheduled appointment at Burgh Quay Registration Office of the Department of Justice & Equality to email with details of their name and current appointment, to cancel the appointment and reschedule to a date after the 14-day period has lapsed.

They have confirmed any risk arising is low and that this action is precautionary.