Minister Flanagan announces further temporary extension of immigration permissions
- Extension of immigration permissions due to expire between 20 May 2020 and 20 July
- Applies to those permissions already extended under previous notice
- Legal status of people with valid immigration permissions to be maintained
13 May, 2020
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., has today announced that immigration permissions, due to expire between 20 May and 20 July 2020, will be automatically extended for two months.
This includes people in Ireland on short stay visas and those whose permissions have already been extended by the previous notice issued on 20th March, 2020.
Commenting on these measures, Minister Flanagan reassured those who are worried about their status in the State, saying:
“I want to reassure people whose immigration permissions are due to expire shortly that your legal status in the country will continue to be maintained.
“If your immigration or international protection permission will expire between 20 May 2020 and 20 July 2020, I am granting a further automatic renewal for two months. Again, this renewal is on the same basis as your existing permission, and the same conditions will continue to apply.
“We will continue to keep the situation under active review as matters evolve in our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
For international English Language Students, the extension means that they may continue to work if they wish, but must also re-enrol in an on-line course of study to adhere to the conditions of their permission. Officials from the Department of Justice and Equality have engaged with MEI (Marketing English in Ireland), the representative body for the majority of language schools in Ireland. They have confirmed that most colleges are now offering on-line courses, and students should contact their college directly to make any necessary arrangements.
The registration office in Burgh Quay in Dublin will remain closed and will only reopen when it is safe to do so, in line with Government’s Roadmap. High-demand public offices make applying social and physical distancing more difficult.
When the Registration Office reopens, priority will be given to those seeking to register for the first time. Those applicants for first time registration who had previous appointments cancelled will have their appointments rescheduled automatically. Other appointments will be made available exclusively for other first time applicants.
Immigration Service Delivery is also considering alternative arrangements for the renewal of registrations. Initially, priority will be given to those whose Immigration Residence Permission card has expired. Further updates will be provided on our website, www.inis.gov.ie, once arrangements are in place.
These further extensions will apply to the same 3 primary categories of persons as before, whose permissions are due to expire between 20 May 2020 and 20 July 2020:
1. Renewal of existing permissions / registrations
Persons who hold a current valid permission, or a permission that has already been extended under the previous notice.
2. Awaiting first registration
Persons granted permission to land at a port of entry on condition they register at Burgh Quay or their local AGS registration office within 3 months but who have yet to do so.
3. Short stay visas
Those in the country on foot of a short stay visa and who have been granted permission to remain for less than 3 months who may be unable to leave the State and return home due to uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Notes for Editors
- Minister Flanagan will automatically renew all immigration and international protection (asylum) permissions, that are due to expire between 20 May 2020 and 20 July 2020 for 2 months. Renewals are on the same basis as existing permissions and the same conditions will continue to apply. For existing permissions granted under the EU Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC), the automatic renewal is subject to the requirement that the person is continuing to comply with the requirements of the Directive.
· For students, this means that they will continue to be able to work if they so wish, but they must also be enrolled in a course of study to adhere to the conditions of their permission.
- To ensure consistency across the system, these new measures will also apply to immigration registrations and renewals that take place outside of Dublin in local Garda Stations by the local Immigration Officers. This will also free up members of An Garda Síochána for other operational duties at this crucial time.
- This measure will preserve the legal status of people with permissions about to expire in the coming period. The requirement to register this permission will not arise until Burgh Quay (and other Immigration offices) re-open or alternative arrangements may be put in place.
- Approximately 450 registration appointments are usually issued for the Office in Burgh Quay each day.
- Typically immigration permissions are renewed on an annual basis and are then required to be registered. In 2019, Immigration Service Delivery in the Department of Justice and Equality registered over 100,000 permissions/registrations and Registration offices in other Districts where the District Officer is the Registration Officer processed over 85,000 registrations/renewals.
- This is an ongoing requirement and in the event of an inability to renew existing valid immigration permissions, over 2,000 people per week could find themselves without a lawful permission to remain in the state.