It has now been five months since the Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of the 4th March 2022 and since the Department of Justice commenced granting Temporary Protection for persons fleeing the conflict in Ukraine in accordance with Section 60 of International Protection Act of 2015.
Currently, the Minister still has yet to open the Register of Non Nationals to Ukrainians and holders of temporary protection.
With the exception of one client of Berkeley Solicitors who was successfully registered on stamp 4 permission on the basis that they urgently needed to leave the State, we are not aware of any other holders of temporary protection who have been registered.
In lieu of registering the immigration permissions of the relevant parties, the Minister granted such persons letters confirming their temporary protection along with a right to work, PPS number and other supports.
In response to a Parliamentary Question dated 8th May 2022, Minister McEntee stated
As of 8 May 2022, a total of 28,531 people had arrived in Ireland from Ukraine and my Department had issued approximately 28,002 temporary protection permission letters.
In relation to the registration of their immigration permission, people who have arrived from Ukraine will have been given a 90 day immigration permission, as standard on arrival, by an immigration officer. Arrangements for the registration of the permission and the issuance of an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card will be finalised by my Department as soon as possible. All necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the process is as simple and stress-free as possible. The practical arrangements will be communicated at the appropriate time.
According to the FAQ page of Department of Justice website updated on the 8th June 2022, the Minister is taking steps to register the immigration permissions of Ukrainians and holders of temporary protection:
“The Department of Justice is putting in place the arrangements for the registration of the permission and information will be provided to you at the appropriate time. The department is taking all necessary steps to ensure that the registration process will be as simple and stress-free as possible for you.”
While we welcome the provision of residence permission and other rights to persons who have fled Ukraine, the failure of the Irish authorities to register holders of temporary protection and to provide them with IRP cards is not satisfactory. It garners a number of negative consequences specifically pertaining to visa required nationals who hold temporary protection and are unable to leave the State as they cannot obtain a re entry visa.
We submit that Minister for Justice is required to facilitate the registration of all non nationals in Ireland who have been issued with permission to reside pursuant to Section 9 of the Immigration Act 2004, and this includes the holders of temporary protection. Section 9 also places an obligation on all non nationals with permission to reside to register.
It is our position that the Minister of Justice is currently failing in her duties to Ukrainians and holders of temporary protection in not facilitating them to register.