Dear Partner,

Please find below latest update on COVID-19 regarding immigration. Corporate Care Relocation will keep you updated if there is any further news.

The Department of Justice, Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Services have implemented new measures in order to deal with COVID-19, please see the overview below which includes the suspension of new Irish visa applications, closures of immigration offices for registration of Irish Residence Permits, extension of short stay Visas for those currently in the state of Ireland and details of the Atypical Working Scheme. As per the update last week the Department of Business Enterprise & Innovation processing times for employment permits remain delayed as they continue to prioritise medical employment permit applications. The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against all non-essential travel overseas apart from to Northern Ireland and the Irish Health Authorities advise anyone entering Ireland to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days.

 

Overview of Department of Justice, Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Services COVID-19 Measures

 

Entry Visas
– All new Irish entry visa applications are being ceased as of the 20th of March 2020, given that travel is not advised unless essential.
– All online Visa applications submitted online during this period are still be valid (general lifespan is 28 days) but the additional step of submission at VFS or to the relevant embassy is not possible at this time, so Visas cannot be processed.
– The only exceptions are Emergency visas for healthcare/elderly care professionals or immediate family members for Irish nationals, immediate family members currently legally resident in the state and persons entitled under the EU Free Movement Directive.

Irish Residence Permit Renewals
– Immigration registration offices are now closed from the 20th of March until the 20th of May 2020.
– Any appointments between these dates are automatically cancelled.
– All current permissions, due to expire between the 20th of March and the 20th of May 2020 will be renewed automatically for this period. The renewal of the permission is on the same basis as the pre-existing permission and conditions.
– All persons effected, will receive a written decision in respect of this automatic renewal.
– This period will be counted as reckonable residence, for citizenship purposes.
– Upon resumption of normal business, the Immigration offices will process any renewal applications in the usual way and a written response will be issued by INIS.
– If, normal business has not resumed by the end of the 20th of May, a further extension of permission may have to be facilitated.

Irish Residence Permit – 1st time registration
– Immigration registration offices are now closed from the 20th of March until the 20th of May.
– Any appointments between these dates are automatically cancelled.
– The requirement to register as per the entry stamp, will not be imposed until the Immigration offices are open or alternative measures are put in place.

Entry on short stay permission
– The extension from the 20th of March until the 20th of May also applies to people who have entered Ireland on foot of short stay permissions (i.e. business permission, tourist).
– If the permission expires during this period it will be automatically extended.

Atypical Working Scheme:
– If travel is not possible due to COVID-19 prior to the expiry of the Atypical approval letter – The letter should be returned to the AWS section as soon as possible (it will be dealt with on a case by case) and an amended letter will be issued if they are notified in a timely manner. There is no new application or fee in such cases.
– Where travel dates change but the letter is still valid there is no requirement to update the letter.
– If the Applicant had to leave Ireland due to CO-VID prior to the completion of the contract of which they had been granted. The letter should be returned to the AWS section as soon as possible (it will be dealt with on a case by case) with details of the new intended dates and  confirmation from the Irish host company and evidence of departure. An amended letter will be issued if they are notified and meet the relevant criteria with no requirement for a new application or fee in such cases.
– For applicants in Ireland on an Atypical whose period is extended as they cannot leave, no registration is required for the extension for AWS applicants.
– The cooling off period will not be affected and will be from the original date as permission.

Please see outline of measures implemented on website: http://www.inis.gov.ie and FAQ’s at;

http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/frequently-asked-questions-immigration-permission-covid-19-temporary-measures.pdf/Files/frequently-asked-questions-immigration-permission-covid-19-temporary-measures.pdf

 

Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Employment Permits

 

Processing times & Contingency measures
– The DBEI will be prioritising and expediating Medical employment permit applications, this will have an impact and slowdown the processing of all other types of employment permit applications, Trusted Partner & Standard Processing.
– Currently the DBEI are functioning as normal. In the event of a slowdown, or a shut down, the office will be able to continue to carry out its priority work such as processing employment permits and carrying out reviews. However, at some stage it may not be possible to print and distribute employment permits, if this happens the Department will update on alternative measures.

Notification to the DBEI
– If permit holders are working from home, this is considered a change in location as to their employment permit and needs to be notified to the DBEI by way of a formal letter.
– If permit holders’ terms of their permit change due to COVID such as a reduction in hours, salary etc. this will need to be notified to the DBEI by way of a formal letter.

Travelling to and from Ireland
– Anyone arriving to Ireland from overseas is being asked to restrict movements for 14 days. Please see link for further details: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/traveland-coronavirus.html
– Prior to travelling to any country please check with the relevant embassy and with the Department of Foreign Affairs https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/ and please contact any of the Corporate Care Relocation management team.