In hugely welcomed news today the Immigration Service Delivery Announced that it is expanding the Priority/Emergency category of visa applications which it will now accept for processing. This is yet another example of a High Court challenge taken by Sinnott Solicitors which shapes immigration law and policy.

As of today, the Irish Visa Office will begin to accept and resume processing of the following categories of visa applications:

  1. Long-stay Join Family Members including:
    1. All Long Stay D Visa join family applications (including Third country national family members of Irish nationals and persons exercising free movement under the EU Directive), and
    2. Preclearance applications for: De Facto Partner of an Irish National; De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Non EEA Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland.
  1. People travelling for business/employment purposes and granted an employment permit by Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment to meet an enterprise’s key business.

The suspension on Short Stay Visas, unless they fall under the Priority/Emergency Category remains in place however it is understood that this will be reviewed in the coming weeks.

Applications submitted prior to the 29th of January under non-priority visa categories will continue to be processed however the visas will not issue in these cases until the current suspension is lifted.

Similarly appeals lodged will continue to be processed with decisions issuing however the visas will not issue until the further easing of restrictions is announced.

As highlighted in previous updates, Sinnott Solicitors were instructed by our clients’ last week to institute High Court proceedings seeking an order of Mandamus to compel the visa office to issue a decision on their join family visa application. The matter was listed before Ms Justice Burns in the High Court this morning. Counsel for the Minister for Justice indicated to the court this morning that an announcement would be made later today regarding the easing of visa restrictions, much to the delight of our clients’ and Ms Justice Burns in the High Court. We commend our clients’ for standing up and taking this legal challenge which has without doubt, been instrumental in the easing of the visa restrictions announced today. We would also loudly applaud the strong media campaign speer headed by various Non-Governmental Organisations in recent weeks highlighting the pain and distress caused to families and individuals by the visa processing suspension.

The full update issued by the Immigration Service Delivery on the easing of visa restrictions is available to read here.

Sinnott Solicitors have a specialist team of Immigration Solicitors and Immigration Consultants located in our Dublin and Cork offices who are experts on all Irish immigration matters. Should you have any queries with respect to any of the information contained in this article or any other immigration matters, do not hesitate to contact our immigration department in Cork or Dublin today on 014062862 or