Sinnott Solicitors frequently assists clients who have faced the prospect of their residence permission being revoked, and we help clients to navigate this complicated and often stressful period in their lives.

All non-nationals wishing to be in the State must have the appropriate legal permission to enter and remain in the State. Non-EEA nationals who wish to remain in the State other than for a visit, must obtain the relevant residence permission, often referred to as a Stamp 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. All persons granted residence permission have to abide by certain requirements and inform the Department of Justice of any change in circumstances, which may have a material effect on their residence permission. 

A residence permission may be revoked by the Department of Justice when a residence card holder is not abiding by the requirements attached to their residence permission.

Examples of when a residence permission might be at risk of being revoked include:

  • When a person’s residence permission is linked to their relationship to an Irish or EEA national or critical skills employment permit holder and that relationship has broken down;
  • When a person’s residence permission is linked to their relationship to an Irish of EEA national and the Irish/EEA national spouse, de-facto partner or child no longer resides in the State;
  • When the Department of Justice believes that a marriage with an Irish or EEA national may have taken place purely for the purpose of obtaining residence permission, also known as a “marriage of convenience”;
  • If the holder of the residence permission is no longer residing in the State; or
  • If the holder of the residence permission does not abide by any of the other conditions of their residence permission.

The Department of Justice may write to a residence card holder and propose that they intend to revoke their permission, if they believe that the person might not be abiding by the conditions of their residence permission. In this instance, the Department of Justice will usually write a letter to the residence card holder setting out why they believe the person is no longer abiding by the conditions of their permission, and ask the person to confirm within a specified deadline and by way of information and documentary evidence that they continue to abide by the conditions of their residence permission.

Sinnott Solicitors frequently assists clients who may have received such letters and we help them to navigate this difficult process, in particular as the letters from the Department of Justice can often be long and detailed and not written in plain English. It is important to seek assistance from a legal professional if you receive such a letter and are unsure how to respond. If the Department of Justice is not satisfied with your response to their letter, the next step is likely to be revocation of your permission. Once a permission has been revoked, it can be a long and difficult process to get the residence permission re-instated. 

If a residence permission is revoked, it is usually revoked from the time that the person stopped abiding by the conditions of the permission, for example the date that their Irish/EU national spouse left the State. It means that this period will also no longer count towards reckonable residency for citizenship application purposes.

If a person’s residence permission is revoked, they may be issued with either a proposal to deport letter, also known as a ‘Section 3 letter” or a “three-options letter”, or a removal order proposal if the permission was linked to EU Treaty Rights. 

If a person’s residence permission has been revoked, they will usually be issued with a letter confirming the Minister’s intention to issue a deportation order against them. This is known as the “Section 3 letter” or “Three options letter” as it provides the non-EEA national with three options and a deadline of 15 days with which to respond. The three-options provided are as follows:

  1. Consent to a Deportation Order;
  2. Leave the State voluntarily within a certain period; or
  3. Submit representations (an application) as to why you should not be issued with a Deportation Order and should be granted permission to remain on humanitarian grounds

Sinnott Solicitors has helped many clients in preparing applications for option three above, which is often known as a “humanitarian leave to remain application”. The Minister of Justice is obliged to consider a number of elements relevant to a person’s case including their age, the duration of their residence in the State, the person’s family and domestic circumstances, the nature of the person’s connection to the State, the employment record and employment prospects of the person, the character and conduct of the person both within and outside the State, humanitarian considerations, and representations made on behalf of the person, the common good, and considerations of national security and public policy. The Minister is also required to assess all rights the person might possess under the Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It can take a considerable amount of time for humanitarian leave to remain applications to be fully considered by the Department of Justice, and during this time, the applicant is not provided with temporary residence permission, while is application is being processed.

If the humanitarian leave to remain application is successful, the applicant will be granted permission to remain, usually on Stamp 4 conditions.

If the humanitarian leave to remain application is unsuccessful, a Deportation Order will be issued against the applicant.

A person issued with a valid deportation order may be directed by an immigration officer to attend their local immigration office at specified times.  It is a criminal offence not to abide by the provisions of a Deportation Order.

The holder of a Deportation Order, may in some circumstances, have reason to apply to the Minister to have the Deportation Order revoked. This can be done under Section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999.

If you have any concerns in relation to your residency permission or have received a letter setting out the intention to revoke your residence permission, or have received a Section 3 letter or a Deportation Order, then do not hesitate to contact our highly experienced team of immigration professionals on 014062862 or info@sinnott.ie