Tag Archive for: applying for a visa in ireland

NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

The Department of Justice has announced that nationals of Botswana and South Africa will be required to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland, effective from Wednesday 10th July 2024. Previously, people travelling from either of these countries to Ireland have not required visas to enter the State.

According to the Department, this decision will bring Ireland into closer alignment with the Schengen area in respect of both of these countries, and in line with the UK in respect of South Africa.

The Dublin Visa Office will establish a dedicated ‘South Africa desk’ to process applications from South African nationals. Additionally, the Department of Foreign Affairs will establish three Visa Application Centres, located throughout South Africa, with visa service provider Global VFS.

Transitional arrangements have been put in place for nationals of Botswana and South Africa who have existing arrangements to travel to the State. South African and Botswanan passport holders who have booked to travel to Ireland before 10th July 2024 and will travel before 10th August 2024 may travel to Ireland provided they are in possession of the following documentation:

  • A valid passport; and
  • Documentary proof from their carrier (and not a Travel Agent) showing the date of purchase of their ticket(s), their name as the passenger, the flight(s) number and date of travel.

This documentation will need to be produced where requested to do so by a carrier or an Immigration Officer.

Any person who has booked to travel to Ireland before 10th July 2024 and is travelling after 9th August 2024 cannot avail of the transitional arrangements. Additionally, any person who books to travel to Ireland after 10th July 2024 cannot avail of the transitional arrangements and will need to have obtained an Irish visa in advance of travel.

The Minister noted that the new requirements for nationals of Botswana and South Africa “are kept under ongoing review, having regard for the need to ensure that effective immigration controls are in place whilst also facilitating those who wish to travel to Ireland for the purposes of a visit, to work, to study, or to join family members”.

The announcement can be found here:

Visa Requirement for nationals of Botswana and South Africa – Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)

Berkeley Solicitors have extensive experience in representing clients through the Irish visa application process. Please contact our office if you would like to arrange a consultation with one of our solicitors.

 

 

 

 

CLIENTS OF BERKELEY SOLICITORS GRANTED LEAVE TO APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT

CLIENTS OF BERKELEY SOLICITORS GRANTED LEAVE TO APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT

Clients of Berkeley Solicitors have received a positive determination granting leave to appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the Court of Appeal decision FSH and Others v Minister for Justice [2024] IECA 44.

The case concerns a Somali woman residing in Ireland by way of family reunification under S.18(4) of the Refugee Act 1996.

The applicant subsequently applied for her minor children to join her in the State pursuant to the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification, and in particular paragraph 1.12 which states as follows:

“While this document sets down guidelines for the processing of cases, it is intended that decision makers will retain the discretion to grant family reunification in cases that on the face of it do not appear to meet the requirements of the policy. This is to allow the system to deal with those rare cases that present an exceptional set of circumstances, normally humanitarian, that would suggest that the appropriate and proportionate decision should be positive.”

The visa applications were refused.

The applicant subsequently challenged the decision to refuse her application by way of Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court. The Court quashed the Minister’s decision to refuse the visa applications for the four minor applicants.

This judgement was subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal, and the judgement of the High Court was overturned.

The applicant applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court for an order quashing the order of the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court found that the case does raise matters of general public importance and granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found as follows:

“The Court is of the opinion that the proposed appeal does raise matters of general public importance relating to the operation of the Minister’s policy on Non-EEA Family Reunification, and in particular, the precise nature of the exceptional circumstances test, how that test is to be applied and the standard of review to be applied when decisions made by the Minister pursuant to the policy are challenged by way of judicial review. These issues may arise in a number of other cases, and it is in the public interest to obtain further clarity, particularly given the conflicting approaches in the High Court and the Court below.”

We are grateful the appeal has been accepted and that a Supreme Court judgement will soon bring clarity to the exceptional circumstances test.

RMINISTER FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NATIONALS OF DOMINICA, HONDURAS AND VANUATU, AND VISA WAIVERS FOR CERTAIN DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT HOLDERS

RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN CITIZENS REMOVED FROM IRISH SHORT STAY VISA WAIVER SCHEME

On Tuesday the 25th of October 2022, changes to the short-stay visa waiver scheme were agreed at a meeting of the Cabinet following a proposal by the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

This scheme allows citizens from over 20 countries, who have a valid visa to travel to the UK, to travel to Ireland without having to obtain an additional Irish visa.

However, Russian and Belarusian citizens travelling to Ireland from the UK will no longer be able to avail of this visa waiver scheme. Citizens of Russia and Belarus will now have to obtain an additional Irish visa to enter Ireland when travelling from the UK.

The terms of the short stay visa waiver scheme are accessible here:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/coming-to-visit-ireland/short-stay-visa-waiver-programme/

The Minister’s notice is available here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/d4b0e-russia-and-belarus-removed-from-short-stay-visa-waiver-scheme/#:~:text=Russia%20and%20Belarus%20removed%20from%20Short%20Stay%20Visa%20Waiver%20Scheme,-From%20Department%20of&text=The%20Minister%20for%20Justice%20is,the%20Russian%20Federation%20and%20Belarus.

This blog article has been prepared on the basis of current immigration law and policy, which is subject to change. Please keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page where articles relating to updates and changes in immigration law and policy are regularly posted.

RMINISTER FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NATIONALS OF DOMINICA, HONDURAS AND VANUATU, AND VISA WAIVERS FOR CERTAIN DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT HOLDERS

SUBMISSION OF ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS WITH VISA APPLICATIONS

Berkeley Solicitors has been informed from a number of clients that are submitting visa applications via VFS centres that their original documents are not being retained for the processing of their applications.

We have recently received confirmation that VFS staff act on behalf of the Department of Justice in accessing original documents for the purposes of visa applications.

We are advised that staff at the VFS centres assess the Applicant’s original documents for the required attestations and then scan these documents.

We have been advised that the original documents are then handed back to the Applicants and are not passed on to ISD officials for the processing of such applications.

We have been informed that this practice is currently being enacted on a phased bases across Irish visa offices globally.

This is a point of great concern as we understand the ISD requirements require submission of original documents in support of visa applications.

We have always advised our clients that original, attested documents are extremely important for a visa application, and it therefore causes much concern when they are not accepted for the processing of an application.

We request that the policy in respect of providing original documents for visa applications is published on the ISD website so that Applicants are aware of the current procedure.

RMINISTER FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR NATIONALS OF DOMINICA, HONDURAS AND VANUATU, AND VISA WAIVERS FOR CERTAIN DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT HOLDERS

EXTENSION OF 5-YEAR MULTI-ENTRY SHORT-STAY VISA OPTION TO ALL VISA REQUIRED COUNTRIES

On April 22nd 2022, the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, announced the extension of the 5-year, multi entry, short-stay visa option to all visa required countries. A multi entry visa permits the visa holder to travel to Ireland on a number of occasions during the dates shown on the visa.

Prior to this, Ireland had offered 1 year, 2 year and 3-year multi entry visas. The option of a 5-year multi-entry visa was only available to Chinese passport holders; a measure which was introduced on the 1st of July 2019.

In her announcement of the change, Minister McEntee stated:

“The availability of 5-year multi entry short stay visas to eligible applicants from all visa required countries is a very positive measure. It will enable people who visit Ireland regularly, for business or family reasons in particular, to make one application, which when granted, will then cover travel over a five-year period.

This will make travelling to Ireland a more convenient and attractive option at a time when travelling worldwide is resuming and our tourism industry, in particular, is reopening following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Previously, multi entry visas were only issued to applicants who have shown a compliant Irish travel history in the recent past. In line with the changes announced by Minister McEntee, people who have travelled frequently to the United Kingdom, the Schengen Zone, USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, and have observed the conditions of such visas, will now be able to apply for the option of a multi-year visa for 1-5 years, even if they have no previous travel history to Ireland.

For a person with no Irish travel history, a multi entry visa may be approved where the person:

  1. Needs to travel regularly to Ireland on short visits for business meetings
  2. While in Ireland on business, needs to travel to another country and return to Ireland for further meetings or onward travel, or
  3. Is travelling to and from another country via Ireland.

The option of a standard, single-entry visa also remains available.

The current visa fees are as follows:

Single entry short Stay ‘C’ visa: €60

Multiple entry short stay ‘C’ visa: €100

The granting of a multi-entry visa, as with all visa applications, is ultimately at the discretion of the relevant Visa Officer.

VISA REQUIREMENTS BETWEEN UKRAINE AND IRELAND LIFTED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

Up until today, nationals of Ukraine required entry visas to travel to and enter Ireland.

This involves submitting a detailed visa application to the Irish Embassy prior to travel. This process can often incur long delays and requires a huge array of original documentation.

On the 25th February 2022, Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee has announced that nationals of Ukraine are now non-visa required persons in the Irish immigration context and that this emergency measure will be implemented with immediate effect.

This means that nationals of Ukraine no longer require an entry visa in advance of travel to the State and can travel to the State and request entry at the border as a non-visa required national.

In the Minister’s press release it is stated that those who travel to Ireland from Ukraine without a visa during this time will be given 90 days to regularise their immigration permission in the State.

The appropriate immigration application to make upon arrival in Ireland will differ depending on the particular circumstances of the person arriving.

In a statement, Minister McEntee stated that she is “appalled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the unjustified and unprovoked attack against a democratic sovereign state in Europe.” Minister McEntee confirmed that Ireland stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The full announcement can be read here.

We welcome the Minister’s action which may assist citizens of Ukraine to flee to safety and assist families in Ireland to be reunited with their Ukrainian family members on an urgent basis and avoid a delayed visa processing system.

Berkeley Solicitors wishes to express our deepest concerns for the people of Ukraine and if you or your family require legal advice in respect of the matters raised in this blog please do not hesitate to get in touch.

NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE PUBLISHES UPDATE ON THE PROCESSING OF NEW VISA APPLICATIONS FOR IMPERATIVE FAMILY REASONS

As of 29th January 2021, the Department of Justice has ceased accepting the majority of new visa/preclearance applications due to Covid-19, with the exception of a number of Priority/Emergency categories of visas.

The Priority/Emergency category includes persons travelling for imperative family reasons.

The Minister for Justice has published an update providing clarity on the meaning of imperative family reasons for the purpose of new visa applications.

In a notice dated 6th April 2021, it is stated that:

“Applicants seeking to travel for imperative family reasons are assessed on an individual basis and are largely confined to emergency cases that may arise in a family situation but do not include the following: missing a loved one; wanting to attend a birth; or wanting to attend a wedding or a milestone birthday. Please note that this list of examples is not exhaustive and whether your application meets the criteria or not is determined by examining the circumstances and supporting documentation of each case on an individual basis.”

The full notice can be read here.

If you or a family member have any queries about applying for a visa to Ireland, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

NEW VISA AND PRECLEARANCE APPLICATION SUSPENSIONS EXTENDED

On 29th January 2021, a notice was posted on the Department of Justice website confirming that new measures had been imposed from the 29th January 2021, including the cessation of accepting new visa or preclearance applications from all countries.

On 4th March the Department of Justice website update the notice and has confirmed that these measures have now been extended to at least the 5th April 2021. It is understood that the situation will continue to be reviewed. We understand this is very upsetting news for many of our clients.

The Department are continuing to process applications submitted before the 29th January 2021.

However, the notice further states that:

“For applications which were received prior to January 29th, these will continue to be processed. However, for successful applications, unless your application meets the Emergency/Priority criteria set out above, a visa or preclearance approval letter will not issue until such time as these restrictions have been lifted. You will be notified if your application is successful. Refusal letters for unsuccessful applications on hand will continue to be issued.

We continue to accept and process appeals. However, for successful appeals, unless your appeal meets the Emergency/Priority criteria set out above, a visa or preclearance approval letter will not issue until such time as these restrictions have been lifted (we will notify you that your appeal was successful). Refusal letters for unsuccessful appeals will continue to be issued.”

Therefore, should your visa or preclearance application be approved during this period, the visa or preclearance approval letter will not be issued until restrictions have been lifted.

Priority or Emergency cases will continue to be processed online during this extension in the normal manner and the categories of applications considered to be priority or emergency has remained the same.

The full list of applications currently falling in the above category can be found here.

The notice is available to read in full here.

If this notice affects you or your family please get in contact with us to discuss your case.

VISA SERVICES HAVE RESUMED FROM 22ND JUNE 2020

The Immigration Service Delivery, who process visa applications have confirmed that some visa services have resumed from the 22nd June 2020.

During this “initial resumption phase”, the ISD will be accepting Long Stay “D” visa applications which includes Study. This is in addition to the categories considered under the Priority/Emergency cases which include:

  • Emergency visa (e.g. Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals);
  • Immediate family members of Irish citizens (who are returning to their ordinary place of residence in Ireland);
  • Persons legally resident in the State;
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive;

This includes short stay visa application for the family members of EU nationals. However, the ISD have not yet resumed the issuance of short stay visas for non-essential travel.

The notice clarifies that in countries where it is not possible to resume visa services due to the differing restrictions which remain in place, the ISD intend to resume accepting applications as soon as it is possible to so.

Advice is given to contact the relevant Irish Embassy/Mission website for up to date information. Many embassies and VFS Global Services remain closed. Our office continues to work closely with our clients on a case by case basis to ensure that the submission of their visa application is facilitated.

This is a very encouraging development and if you or a family member have any queries about applying for an Irish visa, we would encourage anyone with queries to contact our office and we would be more than happy to advise.

The notice can be read in full here.