Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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484. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if a further extension on all emigration permissions will be issued from 20 May 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6668/20]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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I can inform the Deputy that in light of the current uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, I have announced that immigration permissions, due to expire between 20 May 2020 and 20 July 2020, have been automatically extended for two months.  

This includes people in Ireland on short stay visas and those whose permissions have already been extended by the previous notice, which extended permissions between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020. The renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions are attached.

Any permission which was renewed by the notice of 20 March 2020 and which therefore has a new expiry date between 20 May and 20 July 2020 is now automatically renewed for a further two months. For international English language students, this means that they will continue to be able to work if they so wish, but they must also re-enrol in an on-line course of study to adhere to the conditions of their permission. Officials from my Department have engaged with MEI (Marketing English in Ireland), the representative body for the majority of language schools in Ireland. They have confirmed that most colleges are now offering on-line courses, and students should contact their college directly to make any necessary arrangements.

In relation to persons with existing permission under Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive), the automatic renewal is subject to the requirement that the person is complying with the requirements of the Directive. 

The Registration Office in Burgh Quay and all Registration Offices for non-Dublin residents operated by An Garda Síochána remain temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Consequently, the requirement to present at a registration office to register a new permission or renew a current permission is also temporarily suspended.

Further updates will be provided on the Immigration Service website when available, and I would encourage the Deputy to view our updates on the Immigration Service website at:

A detailed Frequently Asked Questions document on the COVID-19 impact on immigration and international protection can also be found on the website. This document is regularly updated.

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