In a notice published on the 5th May 2021, it was announced that the suspension of processing new visa and preclearance applications would continue until further notice.
Our blog post on this extension can be read here:
Under these restrictions it is currently only priority or emergency applications which are being processed.
The restrictions do not appear to be in line with the European Commission guidance dated 3rd May 2021, which states “the Commission is proposing that Member States ease the current restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU to take into account the progress of vaccination campaigns and developments in the epidemiological situation worldwide.”
Furthermore, Council Recommendation (EU) 2020/912 on the temporary restriction on non-essential travel into the EU and the possible lifting of such restriction, at Annex II, states the specific categories of travellers with an essential function as:
“Passengers travelling for imperative family reasons;
“Persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons;”
We note this Council recommendation does not apply to Ireland, but acts as a guide, in respect of determining essential travel within the EU during the current pandemic.
The Minister’s ongoing suspension on issuing visa applications has greatly affected individuals and families, with many being separated for long periods of time.
We have successful made representations to the Minister on behalf of one client to issue the visa for his dependent mother due to “imperative family reasons.” However, unfortunately we are aware of a substantial number of clients who cannot obtain visas for their family, even though the visas have been approved.
In light of the difficult situation faced by the affected families, recent challenges have been brought before the High Court regarding the failure to process visa applications for family members of EU citizens.
If you require advices regarding any matters raised in this article, please do not hesitate to contact Berkeley Solicitors.