721. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the current valid time period for a visa awarded to a person (details supplied); if an extension is required in this case; if so, if an extension will be facilitated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13358/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The visa sticker issued for the application referred to by the Deputy has a validity period from 21 October 2020 to 21 April 2021. In the normal course of events, the person concerned could travel to Ireland between the dates of validity, including the first and last dates on the visa, and travel outside of these dates would not be permitted.
The travel restrictions and the measures introduced as part of the Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 means that travel may not be possible at this time and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential. The strong advice is that everyone, regardless of their nationality or visa/preclearance status, or where they started their travel from, who cannot provide proof of an essential purpose to travel to or within Ireland, should not travel to Ireland.
It is open to the Visa Office to consider, on a case by case basis, issuing a new visa without the need to make another visa application. If they cannot travel before the expiry of their current visa, the person concerned should send their passport to the Visa Office, Embassy or Honorary Consulate to which they would be submitting a new application. They should also include:
- A cover letter explaining why the visa was not used;
- A letter from their employer stating employment is still available to them;
- Any other information which they would like the Visa Officer to take into account when deciding if a new visa will be issued without making a new application.
If the original Employment Permit (or Atypical Working Authorisation) has expired or is expiring soon then they will also need to submit a new Employment Permit or Working Holiday Authorisation.