Here is the latest news on the impacts of the evolving COVID-19 crisis in relation to Irish Immigration matters as announced by the relevant Government Departments.
EU TREATY RIGHTS APPLICATIONS
- EUFAM4 Residence card holders (including Permanent Residence Cards) whose permission to remain in the State is due to expire between now and the 29th March 2020 will have their permission extended automatically until Monday 27th April 2020.
- Residence card applicants who hold a valid temporary permission to remain whilst awaiting a decision on their EU Treaty Rights application (including review applications) and which is to expire between now and the 29th March 2020, will automatically have their temporary permission to remain extended until Monday 27th April 2020.
- Applicants who have submitted Residence card applications who are currently waiting to hear from the EU Treaty Rights Unit, and where the permission to remain which was granted to them on entry to the State expires between now and the 29th of March 2020, will have the permission to remain extended automatically until Monday 27th of April 2020.
Applicants do not need to contact the EU Treaty Rights Division to request an extension of their permission to remain, it is automatically applied in light of the above announcement.
APPLICATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION AND APPEALS
- Individuals seeking to apply for International Protection should continue to attend the International Protection Office located at 79/83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 to submit their application.
- International Protection Applicants whose Temporary Residence Cards are due to expire between now and the 29th of March will have a new card automatically issued to them without the need to attend a renewal appointment.
- Interviews of international protection applicants have been postponed by the IPO up to and including the 29th of March 2020.
- All appeal hearings in the International Protection Appeals Tribunal have been postponed until at least the 29th of March 2020.
Garda National Immigration Bureau Registration
Registration at the GNIB is continuing as normal. This is a significant concern given the volume of people attending the GNIB on a daily basis for registration. It is the opinion of Sinnott Solicitors that alternative temporary arrangements for registration should be implemented to ensure the safety of individuals attending for registration as well as the GNIB officials.
Processing of Employment Permits
The Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation have advised that they are expediting employment permit applications submitted by medical professional and this may have an impact on the processing times of other applications. Given the importance of having as many fully trained medical professionals in the State to fight the COVID-19 crisis, this move is greatly welcomed, and we would anticipate that this should not have a significant effect on the processing times of other applications.
We would expect that visa applications for medical professionals will similarly be expedited.
The DBEI has advised that in the event of a slow or shut down of their offices that they will continue to process employment permit applications and reviews, however there may be a delay in printing and distributing employment permits.
Given the pace at which the COVID-19 situation is developing, Sinnott Solicitors will continue to monitor the situation and post relevant updates as they occur.