Dublin. December 2nd, 2020

Hello. This is the latest in a series of Immigration updates regularly published by Corporate Care Relocation. Recent updates have focused on Immigration updates in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Irish Residence Permits

Irish Residence Permit Renewals: The Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) group have announced, as of 2nd of December, that all applicants for Irish Residence Permits Renewals will no longer need to submit their original passport to the authorities. This new process is especially welcomed in Dublin where applicants were 8 weeks without their passports. The Immigration authorities will no longer be stamping passports with permission stamps to remain; the Irish Residence Permits will now be the sole proof of residence. Having registered with the authorities, in Dublin, applicants will have to upload their passports to the online system, while for the rest of the country, the applicant will still need to present their passport as proof of identification. In both cases, passports will no longer be stamped by an immigration officer. Further details can be found here Registration / GNIB (inis.gov.ie)

Processing of Irish Residence Permits in Dublin: The processing times of Irish Residence Permits applications in Dublin has reduced to 2-4 weeks. The processing which was experiencing significant delays at 6 -8 weeks due to backlog has lessened. However, while the processing has certainly sped up, there are still delays in return of documents, taking approximately 2 -3 weeks from receipt of confirmation of processing. This delay is due to the postal unit being unable to deal with the large number of documents.


Processing of Irish Residence Permits Rest of Ireland: For renewals and first-time registrations (outside of Dublin), we are continuing to see delays in obtaining appointments and responses from some immigration offices. All immigration officers are now working through an appointment-based system by email and there are no walk-in appointments permitted.

Reopening of Dublin Burgh Quay Office: The ISD has reopened their Burgh Quay Dublin office on the 2nd of December for first time registrations after a 6-week closure in line with the Government Roadmap. Cancelled appointments due to the closure will be given priority for rescheduling. Please note all attendees must have an appointment.

Pre-Clearance Applications

Introduction of new application process for preclearance applications: In line with the authority’s policy of moving to preclearance applications, the following preclearance applications have been introduced for existing schemes:
• Volunteer in Ireland
• Minister of Religion
• De facto Partner of Critical Skills Employment Permit / Hosting Agreement
• De Facto Partner of an Irish national
Items to note:
• From the 1st of January all relevant applicants must use the new preclearance system.
• Visa requiring nationals now will only need to apply for the relevant Visa under the relevant scheme. They will no longer have to apply for the two step application (preclearance & Visa)
• Non Visa requiring nationals will still need to apply for a preclearance letter prior to their travel to Ireland
• All applications must be made from outside of Ireland and applicants must remain outside the State while their application is being processed.

Brexit

Requirements of UK Nationals: UK nationals will not have any immigration requirements due to Brexit past the 31st of December 2020. The rights of UK Nationals currently residing in Ireland are maintained due to the Common Travel Area (CTA), an agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom which predates the European Union. UK 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.

Non-EEA Nationals of UK nationals currently living in Ireland: From the 31st of December 2020, NON-EEA nationals who are dependents of UK nationals and hold an Irish Residence Permit with ‘EUFAM’ status granted on the basis of exercising EU Treaty Rights under the EU Free Movement Directive will still maintain the same rights in terms of living, working and studying in Ireland. However, holders will need to exchange their current Irish Residence Permit for a new Irish Residence Permit by 31st December 2021. Applicants will be issued with a new card stating their status now derives from EU Free Movement under the Withdrawal Agreement but providing them the same rights as the currently have.


Incoming NON-EEA Nationals of UK nationals: From the 31st of December 2020, Non-EEA nationals who are dependents of UK nationals and have yet to enter Ireland will no longer fall under the EU Free Movement Directive and will need to complete a separate preclearance scheme for their permission to reside in Ireland. For further information please see here UK WITHDRAWAL FROM THE EU – Information for UK Nationals and their Non-EEA family members living in Ireland (inis.gov.ie)