Whilst the world is gripped in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, here is some practical information on Irish immigration services currently effected by the outbreak.
Visas from China
All Irish Visa Application Centres in China continue to remain closed and will do so until the 16th of March 2020. The situation will be reviewed again on that date as to whether it is safe to open the Visa Application Centres or whether the closures which have been in place since the start of February will be further extended.
Individuals can still complete the online application form which is required for every visa application to Ireland however will not be able to secure an appointment to attend their local Visa Application Centre to submit the hard copy supporting documentation and biometric data until such time as the centres reopen. Applicants are normally required to attend the VAC to submit their documentation within 30 days of completing the online application, however the visa office has confirmed that the online application will be valid until such time as the VACs reopen and normal processing commences.
Visas applications for non-EEA nationals living in Italy
The Embassy of Ireland in Rome is closed temporarily due to the Covid19 outbreak. Any non-EEA national seeking to submit an Irish visa application from Italy should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Visa Application Offices
Visa offices and Visa Application Centres in all other countries remain open for accepting Irish visa applications however in circumstances where the situation is developing quickly individuals should monitor the relevant information on the Department of Foreign Affairs website for each visa office and VAC in the event of further closures or restrictions.
IRP card registration appointments
Individuals who are residing in Dublin, and who have returned from a COVID-19 affected region in the last 14 days, or who have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case in the last 14 days and have symptoms (a cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or fever), are advised not to attend at their scheduled appointment time with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and to reschedule the appointment for a date after the expiration of the 14 day period by emailing email@example.com.
Individuals who reside outside of Dublin, and who have returned from a COVID-19 affected region in the last 14 days, or who have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case in the last 14 days and have symptoms should not attend the scheduled appointment time, and should contact their local Immigration Office directly to reschedule the appointment for a date after the expiration of the 14 day period.
We note that many individuals have to wait weeks or months to secure an appointment with the Garda National Immigration Bureau however in the interests of public health and safety it is extremely important that all effected individuals adhere to the above guidelines.
Sinnott Solicitors will continue to monitor the situation and post relevant updates as they occur.