COVID-19 Immigration and Protection UPDATES
Further updates from INIS were released on Friday 27 March. Link to full update available here.
Employment Permits & Stamp 1s
If you hold a Stamp1 as an employment permit holder, and lose your job during the pandemic period, your employment permit will still be considered valid, and if it expires before May 20th, will be extended for a 2 month period.
If you hold a Stamp 1 permission to work for a specific business, which has now closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you can take up employment with another business. When it is time for renewal, you must provide evidence that the first business you worked with closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Assisted Voluntary Returns
Assisted voluntary returns are not being processed at the moment. You can register your interest in voluntary return and you can make a full application once commercial flights are available again.
Deportation Orders & signing on
If you have a deportation/transfer/removal order and are required to “sign on” in the coming four to six weeks, you should have received a letter from the GNIB with new presentation or reporting dates. If you have any queries or questions, you can contact the GNIB at GNIB_DV@garda.ie or if you’re outside Dublin, your local Immigration Officer.
If you are absent from the State due to COVID-19 travel restrictions or isolation measures and cannot return to Ireland, or if you lose your employment and need to access Pandemic Unemployment Payment, a pragmatic approach will be taken to these cases.
If your family member has been granted family reunification and can’t travel to Ireland due to Covid 19 so may miss the 12 month deadline to enter the State, the INIS will operate in as flexible and pragmatic a manner as possible. Anyone in this position should contact INIS as soon as possible.
Update from INIS on visa applications
INIS have temporarily stopped accepted new visa applications from 20th March 2020 unless it is a priority or an emergency case. While you can continue to apply for an Irish visa online, applicants will n ot be able to complete their application process.
Emergency/Priority applications are:
- Emergency visa (e.g. Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals;
- Immediate family members of Irish citizens, persons legally resident in the State and Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive.
- Legally resident non-EEA nationals.
If your application falls into one of these categories, you can apply on-line in the usual way. Once you’ve completed the on-line application, you should follow the instructions given on the summary page as to where you should submit your application.
Update 21/03/2020 available here.
Update from INIS on GNIB registration
INIS have introduced a broad new policy which allows for IRP/GNIB Cards to be renewed automatically for 2 months and visit visas extended. This does not apply to anyone whose permission expired before 20 March.
Expiring GNIB/IRP Cards
- Burgh Quay and all GNIB offices will now close and all appointments are cancelled.
- All valid immigration permissions (including International Students, Working Holiday Authorisation Programme) that are due to expire from 20/ March to 20 May are automatically renewed by the Minister for a period of 2 months. The renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission ie if your last permission was on a Stamp 4 basis - then the 2 month extension will also be on a Stamp 4 basis. This will also apply to any children that are linked to your permission.
- A copy of this INIS notice with your expiring GNIB Card/IRP card or last Minister's letter can be used to show that you are legally resident.
- No fees apply to this 2 month extension.
Visitors/First time registration
- If you are lawfully in the State having received a short-stay permission upon arrival (e.g., permission as a tourist), which is due to expire between 20/ March and 20 May your permission is considered renewed for a further 2 months on the same conditions given to you upon arrival.
- This will also apply if you entered the State on a 'D' visa, were given a temporary stamp at the airport (usually 90 days) and were asked to register with the GNIB. If the permission expires between 20 March and 20 May, it will be considered renewed for a further 2 months.
International Protection applicants
- If you are an international protection applicant and your Temporary Residence Card (TRC) is about to expire, you DO NOT need go to the International Protection Office. An updated card will be posted to you.
- If you have a Labour Market Access Permission (LMAP) which is due to expire during this period, and you have not received a final decision on your case, your LMAP will be considered renewed for 2 months.
- If you want to apply for a LMAP for the first time, you should apply as normal. Details are here.
Stamp 0 cases
- If you recently entered the State as a visitor, applied for a Stamp 0 permission, your visitor permission will be considered extended for a further 2 months if it would otherwise expire between 20 March and 20 May.
Atypical Working Schemes (AWS)
- This notice applies to anyone with AWS permission due to expire between 20 March and 20 May.
- How will cooling off periods be affected by this extension?
- This extension will not affect the date from which a cooling off period is reckoned.
- The commencement date of a cooling off period will be reckoned as the date of expiry of the originally granted permission, had any extension not been granted.
- An earlier date of commencement will be reckoned if the applicant can demonstrate that they left prior to the expiry of their normal 90 day permission.
- Notify the AWS Unit if you are not in a position to travel before the expiry of your letter of approval under the Scheme because of difficulties arising from COVID-19.
- If you are not permitted to travel during the validity period of your decision letter, you should return the currently valid letter of approval to the AWS office as a matter of urgency and an amended letter of approval will issue when the AWS office has been notified of revised travel plans.
- In the cases of nurses and seafarers, amended contracts to reflect these new dates must be provided (and RCSI/Adaptation dates for nurses)
- When the above criteria is meet - No new application, or payment of application fee, will be required in such cases.
- In instances where travel dates are amended but remain within the validity period of a previously issued decision letter, no action is required and the travel can occur in line with the new dates.
- I had to leave early due to travel restrictions or work shut down but will need to return when restrictions are lifted.
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
[Update 13/03/2020 available here.]
INIS has released the following advice:
International English language students
If your English language school has closed down due to Government advice regarding Covid-19, all international students will be considered to have met their attendance requirement for the shutdown period (ie the period of closure will not count towards your attendance record).
Applicants for International Protection
People who wish to apply for international protection should continue to report as normal to the International Protection Office in Mount Street where initial processing will take place.
You should not attend the International Protection Office to renew your Temporary Residence Card. Letters will be sent to applicants confirming that their cards have been extended.
Interviews for international protection applicants have been suspended until further notice
Tribunal hearings at the International Protection Appeals Tribunal have also been suspended until further notice.
Contingency arrangements are being put in place for persons residing in the Direct Provision system and in emergency accommodation.
The normal service of immigration control at Dublin Airport continues with appropriate measures to protect staff in place.
This page contains any information or updates we receive about any changes to immigration or asylum procedures because of COVID-19. For information on your social welfare rights please see here.
International Protection Office
[UPDATE 12/03/2020] available here.
The International Protection Office will provide a limited service to new applicants only from Friday 13th March
The following arrangements will apply with immediate effect.
- All substantive interviews scheduled for Friday 13 March and up to and including 29 March 2020 have been cancelled.
- Temporary Residence Certificate (TRC) renewal appointments and call-backs are being suspended until 29th March.
- If your TRC is due for renewal between now and 29th March, a new card will issue to you automatically to cover you for the period.
Applicants who are impacted by these arrangements are requested not to visit the International Protection Office until further notice.
International Protection Appeals Tribunal
[Update 25/03/2020 available here]
The International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) has decided to postpone all hearings until at least 19th April 2020.
The Tribunal’s current position is that hearings will not be rescheduled until all restrictions necessitated by Covid-19 have been relaxed or removed in line with advice issued by the HSE and the Chief Medical Officer of the State.
The Tribunal had issued decisions up to and including 24 March 2020. However, in light of the fact that decisions issued by the Tribunal trigger statutory deadlines, the Tribunal has suspended the issuing of decisions until further notice.
More information on this and other issues are listed in a detailed FAQ available here