276. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Justice if an additional extension will be allowed for expired immigration permits given the situation with Covid-19 restrictions; and when an announcement will be made on the matter. [17673/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): For people currently living in Ireland and who hold either a valid immigration or an international protection permission registered with my Department, I announced on 26 March 2021, that all such permissions due to expire between 21 April 2021 and 20 September 2021, are automatically renewed to 20 September 2021.
In each instance, the automatic renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions attach. In relation to persons with existing permission under Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive), the automatic renewal is subject to the requirement that the person is complying with the requirements of the Directive.
This is the seventh, and expected to be the final, extension of permissions granted since the outset of the pandemic. Any permission that was renewed by the previous notices is also automatically renewed by this notice until 20 September 2021.
The temporary extension of immigration permissions means that anyone who held a valid permission to be in the State in March 2020 is legally permitted to remain until 20 September 2021, even if their Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card has expired and they are awaiting a new one.
All renewals in the Dublin area are now being processed online only and the system has been available for all applicants since 20 July 2020 at https://inisonline.jahs.ie. Online renewal applications continue to be accepted and processed. I encourage Dublin based customers who can use the online system, to do so and to not wait until September.
The Registration Office in Burgh Quay remains closed as a result of the Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions announced by Government in December. Customers who were issued with appointments for first time registrations will be prioritised for appointments once the Public Office can safely reopen. As first time registration requires the taking of biometrics - fingerprints - this cannot be done online.
Registrations outside of the Dublin area are processed by the Garda National Immigration Bureau through the Garda Station network. Information on the contact details for all the registration offices outside Dublin is available at: https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-communications/news-media/reopening-of-registration-offices.html.