Minister Flanagan announces temporary extension of immigration permissions



20 March 2020


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., has today announced that immigration permissions, due to expire between 20 March and 20 May 2020, will be automatically extended for two months. 


The Registration Office in Burgh Quay in Dublin will close for the coming weeks, with immediate effect. Anyone with an appointment scheduled at Burgh Quay in the period to 20 May will be contacted by Immigration Service Delivery.  This is part of the Department’s emergency response to COVID-19.


While the primary reason for closing the Registration Office at Burgh Quay is due to the high footfall, challenges in maintaining social distancing and to ensure consistency across the system, these new measures will also apply to immigration registrations and renewals that take place outside of Dublin in local Garda Stations, by the local Immigration Officers.  This will also free up members of An Garda Síochána for other operational duties at this crucial time.


Announcing the new temporary arrangements, Minister Flanagan addressed those affected directly, saying:


I want to assure people whose immigration permissions are due to expire shortly that your legal status in the country will be maintained. If your immigration or international protection permission will expire between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020, I am granting you an automatic renewal for two months. This renewal is on the same basis as your existing permission and the same conditions will continue to apply.


We are taking this step at this extraordinary time to ensure your safety. High-demand public offices make applying social distancing more difficult. We also want to ensure that you are not undertaking any non-essential travel to attend appointments at this time.


This is an exceptional measure in response to exceptional circumstances. If this decision was not made there is a danger that you could become unlawful in the country through no fault of your own. I am acting now to ensure this does not happen.


The measures announced today apply to those whose permission to be in the State is due to expire between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020. We will keep the situation under active review as matters evolve in our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Minister Flanagan urged everyone to closely follow HSE guidance and to consult the HSE website for up to date information on protecting themselves, their families and the wider community at this very difficult time.


The new measures will apply to 3 primary categories of persons whose permissions are due to expire between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020:


  1. Renewal of existing permissions / registrations


Persons who hold a current valid permission.


  1. Awaiting first registration


Persons granted permission to land at a port of entry on condition they register at Burgh Quay or their local AGS registration office within 3 months but who have yet to do so.


  1. Short stay visas


Those in the country on foot of a short stay visa and who have been granted permission to remain for less than 3 months who may be unable to leave the State and return home due to uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.


The range of permissions encompassed under these provisions is broad and further information on this and on these new arrangements can be found at:





Notes for Editors