· Report on key immigration figures- Immigration in Ireland Annual Review 2016
· 2017 priorities for Immigration Service to include completion of asylum system reforms and civilianisation of border controls at Dublin Airport 


1 March 2017

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD has today published the annual review of immigration related activity in Ireland for 2016 - see link to document below. The Minister provided key immigration figures for 2016 and reported on achievements in the immigration area over the past year as well as outlining some of her priorities for 2017.

Publishing the report the Tánaiste stated, “In 2016, applications for visas, residence and citizenship received by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service of my Department increased once again. Last year INIS received over 124,000 entry visa applications (short and long stay), over 10,000 persons were granted citizenship and approximately 96,000 new or renewed immigration permissions were issued. Ireland continues to be an attractive destination for migrants to come to work, study and settle here. Tourism from key international markets, such as the Far East, is also important and the Immigration Service of my Department plays a key role in helping to support the growth in our economy.

During 2016 around 14 million immigration checks were carried out at Dublin Airport with approximately 4,000 persons refused leave to land at ports of entry last year. The modernisation and civilianisation of the delivery of immigration services also continued in 2016. Commenting on this the Tánaiste said - The modernisation of how we deliver our immigration services has been a priority of mine and further progress was made in 2016. Last year responsibility for immigration registrations in Dublin transferred from the Garda National Immigration Bureau to INIS. An online appointment system for immigration registration in Dublin is also now in place. In addition, the civilianisation programme has progressed at Dublin Airport and will be completed in the coming months with the transfer of border controls to INIS at Dublin Airport Terminal 2 releasing further Garda personnel for operational duties.  

In the area of International Protection significant changes took place in 2016.

"The most significant change in the International Protection regime in the past two decades took place late last year when I commenced the main provisions of the International Protection Act 2015, introducing for the first time a single application procedure for people seeking protection. This will streamline the process and help reduce the time spent in the Direct Provision system."

"The progress in improving customer service made in 2016, such as the introduction of on-line systems for appointments for customers, will continue this year. Further measures will also be introduced to further enhance the protection and security of our borders.