Minister for Justice and Equality launches Immigration Annual Review 2018


26th September 2019


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today published ‘Immigration in Ireland: Annual Review 2018’.  Providing the key statistics on all aspects of immigration in Ireland, the publication demonstrates the continuing attraction of Ireland as a destination for people to visit, work, study and invest.


Noting the figures, the Minister said:


“We continue to see strong growth in the numbers of people who want to visit our beautiful and welcoming country.  Last year, we processed over 140,000 visa applications, an increase of almost 12%. Meanwhile the number of non-EEA nationals living in Ireland also increased last year by 11% to almost 143,000 people. Coming from a variety of countries across the world, they are contributing to the diversity of our nation and to our economic, social and cultural development.”


The review provides updated statistics on all aspects of immigration, including border management, visas, registration and residence, citizenship, international protection and removals from the state.  Much of the increased visa demand is ascribed to Ireland’s strong economic performance and the introduction of new flight destinations to and from Ireland.


Referring to that, the Minister added:  ‘When you add these figures to the numbers of visitors coming from countries which are not visa required, we can be encouraged at the extent to which Ireland is clearly seen as an attractive destination.’


Referring to changes in the way this year’s publication presents the statistics, the Minister also highlighted its new lay-out:


The new user-friendly format of the Annual Review, along with the separate statistical annex that we are publishing for the first time, provides a clearer picture of the important work that we are doing in this area.  More effective communication is a key part of the ongoing reform of the Immigration Service of my Department. The implementation of the Customer Service Improvement Plan for the Immigration Service, along with the development of new streamlined structures and work processes is a core element of our work for 2019 and beyond.  This is helping us to achieve our publicly stated aim of a fair and efficient immigration system with the customer at the heart of our approach.”


Apart from statistics, the Review also includes an overview of key focus areas for 2019, as well as policy and operational developments which occurred during 2018.  These ongoing changes  include the rollout of online application forms and streamlined application processes.




Notes for Editors:



Non-EEA nationals resident in Ireland








Pre-clearance Schemes


  1. The Minister of Religion scheme – 123 applications from people working for a recognised religious group were assessed in 2018. 81.5% of applicants were successful and granted permissions to enter and remain in the State for up to three years.

  2. The Volunteer scheme – 209 people who were invited to work with a registered charity or a qualifying sporting organisation were assessed in 2018. 81% were allowed to enter and remain in the State for up to two years.


New Citizens





Irish Refugee Protection Programme


International Protection (Asylum)



Tackling Illegal Immigration