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525. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice the number of applications to the new pre-clearance visa scheme that was introduced for UK nationals who came to Ireland after 31 December 2020 and wish to bring their non-EEA family members with them; the number of visas granted in tabular form; the ten most common nationalities of persons granted visas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54140/21]

526. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice the number of applications made since 1 January 2021 for a new residence document under the Withdrawal Agreement as family members of UK nationals; the number of Withdrawal Agreement cards issued; the ten most common nationalities of those applying for Withdrawal Agreement cards; and the actions her Department has taken to make family members of UK nationals aware that they must exchange their residence permit before 31 December 2021. [54141/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 525 and 526 together.
With effect from 11:00pm on 31 December 2020, following the end of the Brexit transition period, all non-EEA family members of UK nationals seeking to join, or accompany, their UK national family member in Ireland will need to apply (depending on their nationality) through a preclearance or visa scheme from outside the State.
The Preclearance Scheme only applies when a UK national has come to live in Ireland after 31 December 2020. Applications are required from both visa required and non-visa required nationals and will be assessed under the relevant policy document. All applications must be made from outside of Ireland and applicants must remain outside the State while their application is being processed.
Visa required nationals will only have to make a visa application under the relevant scheme. Their visa, if their application is successful, will outline their reason for travel to Ireland
Non-Visa required nationals need to apply for preclearance, and if their application is successful, they will receive an approval letter from the preclearance unit of my Department, which must be presented to an Immigration Officer at the port of entry.
The information requested for visa required and non-visa required nationals, is contained in the attached tables.
A UK national and their Non-EEA family members or their dependents continue to hold the same residence rights to live, work or study in Ireland, if they resided here at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 .
It is estimated that approximately 6,000 non-EEA nationals resident in Ireland will apply for a new residence document under the Withdrawal Agreement as family members of UK nationals.
Non-EEA family members or dependents of UK nationals are required to exchange their current valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) Card for a new one stating that they benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement. This card exchange programme has applied from 1 January 2021, and is administered by the Immigration Service of my Department for applicants nationwide. Applications are made through an online renewal system.
As of 1 November 2021, 1,620 card exchange applications have been received, of which 1,441 have been completed.
The ten most common nationalities of those applying for Withdrawal Agreement cards are set out in the table below:

Nationality Count
South Africa 708
Pakistan 314
Afghanistan 101
Nigeria 95
India 51
United States Of America 46
Philippines 40
Brazil 25
China (Including Hong Kong) 23
Thailand 21
- VISAS
Applications Made 76   
Visas Granted 14   
Citizenship Application Granted Appeal granted Revoked Total
South Africa 5 0 0 5
Ukraine 2 0 0 2
Afghanistan 1 0 0 1
Gambia 1 0 0 1
Guinea 1 0 0 1
Pakistan 1 0 0 1
People's Republic of China 0 1 0 1
Sudan 1 0 0 1
Turkey 1 0 0 1
Total 13 1 0 14
PRECLEARANCE
Applications Made 42   
Preclearances Granted 18   
Citizenship Application Granted Appeal granted Revoked Total
South Africa 7 2 0 9
United States of America 8 0 0 8
Israel 1 0 0 1
Total 16 2 0 18
TOTAL COMBINED
Applications Made 118   
Total Granted 32   
Citizenship Application Granted Appeal granted Revoked Total
South Africa 12 2 0 14
United States of America 8 0 0 8
Ukraine 2 0 0 2
Afghanistan 1 0 0 1
Gambia 1 0 0 1
Guinea 1 0 0 1
Israel 1 0 0 1
Pakistan 1 0 0 1
People's Republic of China 0 1 0 1
Sudan 1 0 0 1
Turkey 1 0 0 1
Total Granted 29 3 0 32
Question No. 526 answered with Question No. 525.