The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has announced that the Burgh Quay Registration Office in Dublin and all other local registration offices have closed for a period of two months effective from 20 March 2020 until 20 May 2020.
Consequently, all existing appointments at the Burgh Quay Registration Office are cancelled and individuals are advised not to attend. All permissions that are due to expire during the period 20 March 2020 to 20 May 2020 are automatically renewed by the Minister for a period of two months, thereby maintaining the legal status of all those individuals with permissions due to expire during this period.
There is no need for individuals to register for this two-month renewal and no fee will be incurred. This automatic renewal is on the same basis as an individual’s existing permission and the same conditions will continue to apply.
Individuals who have recently arrived in the State and were required to register at the Burgh Quay Registration Office or their local registration office will not be required to register their permission until the registration offices re-open or alternative arrangements are put in place. Employers should be aware that employees/prospective employees will still be able to continue/begin working despite not being able to produce a valid Irish Residence Permit during this period.
Those in the country with a short stay visa (such as a tourist visa), who have been granted permission to remain for less than three months and who may be unable to leave the State and return home due to uncertainties caused by COVID-19, will also fall under this notice. If an individual has permission to be in the State, and this is due to expire between 20 March and 20 May 2020, such permission is considered renewed for a further two months.
In addition, INIS has announced that visa applications have ceased to be processed temporarily since close of business 20 March 2020. Only certain emergency visas will be processed such as those for certain healthcare professionals, immediate family members of Irish citizens, persons legally resident in Ireland and persons entitled to avail of the EU Free Movement Directive. Employers should be aware that as visa applications are temporarily no longer being processed, prospective employees’ visa applications will be delayed, and they will not be able to enter Ireland to undertake work. While it will still be possible to apply for an Irish visa online in the normal manner, these temporary measures mean that applicants may not get a response for some time.
Clients should be aware of these changes as some individuals’ Irish Residence Permits which are due to expire during the closure period, will be extended automatically. In addition, prospective employees who are visa required nationals will not be able to enter Ireland for the time being. Please contact our Corporate Immigration and Employment Law Team should you have any questions or concerns.