Tag Archive for: Berkeley Solicitors

UPDATE REGARDING ELIGIBLE SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF GENERAL EMPLOYMENT PERMIT AND INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREE IRISH EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDERS

UPDATE REGARDING ELIGIBLE SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF GENERAL EMPLOYMENT PERMIT AND INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREE IRISH EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDERS

The Department of Justice and Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment recently announced that eligible spouses and partners of General Employment and Intra-Corporate Transferee Permit holders who have applied for and been granted family reunification in the State in accordance with the Department of Justice Non-EEA Family Reunification Policy will now be registered on a Stamp 1G rather than a Stamp 3 permission. In addition, spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders and Researchers on a Hosting Agreement currently on a Stamp 3 are also now eligible for Stamp 1G.

This development enables eligible spouses and partners of these permit holders to work without obtaining a separate employment permit. It does not, however, negate the need for current and future permit holders whose spouses and partners are not in the State to apply for family reunification after 12 months.

Effective immediately from 15th May 2024, eligible spouses and partners who already legally reside in the State and hold a Stamp 3 permission have had their permission to remain in the State varied to the same conditions as Stamp 1G, which are as follows:

  • Permitted to work in the State without the requirement to obtain an employment permit.
  • Permitted to undertake courses of study in the State.
  • Not permitted to establish or operate a business.
  • Not permitted to be self-employed.
  • Renewal of the Stamp 1G registration is required annually, and after 5 years on a Stamp 1G, you may be eligible for a Stamp 4 permission.

As such, they do not need to attend their local immigration office or apply online to obtain a permission to reside on Stamp 1G conditions. A new Irish Residence Permit on Stamp 1G conditions will issue to eligible persons when they seek to renew their current Stamp 3 permission upon its expiry.

Eligible spouses or partners therefore do not need to acquire a new Irish Residence Permit card to engage in employment but can instead provide prospective employers with the following letter in conjunction with their current IRP card: Download Stamp 3 to Stamp 1G Employment Notice. This temporary arrangement is valid until 15th May 2025.

The full announcement can be found here:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/attention-eligible-spouses-and-partners-of-general-employment-permit-and-intra-corporate-transferee-irish-employment-permit-holders/

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.

 

UPDATES TO THE APPPLICATION PROCESS FOR IRISH TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

The Department of Justice have recently updated the application process for Irish Travel Documents. To make the process more seamless, applications for Irish travel documents have been moved online. Applicants can access the form through the ISD portal.

They advise that applicants use the online application process, this allows the form, copy documents and fee of €55 to be submitted online.

However, applicants are still required to post an original Identity Verification Form (signed in the presence of a guard), passport photographs and Passport/ Travel Document (if applicable) to the Travel Document Section to the Travel Document Section in Dublin.

Please see below guidance note as it elaborates on what documents need to be submitted for each category of application:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/travel/Travel-Document-Applications-Documents-Reference-Guide.pdf

This blog has been drafted with reference to the following website:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/travel/Travel-Document-Applications-Documents-Reference-Guide.pdf

For further details on Irish travel documents please visit the following link:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/coming-to-join-family-in-ireland/applying-for-a-travel-document/

Berkeley Solicitors are available to provide support and assistance to people looking to apply for an Irish Travel Document.

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 posted regularly.

 

 

 

UPDATE REGARDING ELIGIBLE SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF GENERAL EMPLOYMENT PERMIT AND INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREE IRISH EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDERS

STAMP 0 PERMISSION ACCEPTED AS RECKONABLE RESIDENCE FOR NATURALISATION

Berkeley Solicitors have recently received a number of successful naturalisation decisions for clients resident on Stamp 0 permission.

In approving the applications for our clients, the Department of Justice have accepted that Stamp 0 is reckonable residence for the purposes of naturalisation.

These decisions are significant given that the Department have previously maintained that Stamp 0 residence permission is a low-level immigration status which is granted for a limited and specific stay in Ireland.

There are three main types of persons eligible for Stamp 0:

 

  1. Elderly dependent relatives
  2. Persons of independent means
  3. Visiting academics

This is very welcome news for individuals resident in the State on Stamp 0 permission, many of whom have made Ireland their permanent home but have concerns regarding their reckonable residence in the State for the purposes of naturalisation.

Although acquiring citizenship is a privilege and not a right and is subject to the Minister’s absolute discretion, the Minister must act within the confines of the statutory definition of reckonable residence as defined at Section 16 A of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.

We at Berkeley Solicitors welcome this very encouraging development surrounding reckonable residence and we congratulate our clients on their successful applications.

We are happy to advise any clients wishing to pursue their naturalisation application.

UPDATE REGARDING ELIGIBLE SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF GENERAL EMPLOYMENT PERMIT AND INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREE IRISH EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDERS

NOTICE ON NON-EEA NATIONALS AWAITING AN EU NATIONAL PASSPORT

The Immigration Service Delivery have published a notice in response queries of Non-EEA nationals who await the issuance of an EU Passport, of their status and obligations in the State.

The notice has clarified that Non-EEA nationals, who are in receipt of court documents stating that they are citizens of an EU country, must hold a valid immigration permission to remain legally resident in the State.

Individuals in this position therefore must ensure to contact their national embassy to keep their Irish immigration permissions up to date while they await their EU passport. Court documents stating that they are citizens of an EU country will not suffice in proving their legal residency in the interim.

Individuals must also ensure to comply with the obligations of their immigration permissions whilst they await the issuance of their EU passport.

Please see the below link for further details:

 

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/non-eea-national-awaiting-an-eu-national-passport/

 

Berkeley Solicitors are available to provide support and assistance to any residence applicants.

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.

UPDATE REGARDING ELIGIBLE SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF GENERAL EMPLOYMENT PERMIT AND INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREE IRISH EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDERS

RECENT REFUSALS OF EMPLOYMENT PERMIT VISAS

Late last year, Ms Justice Bolger of the High Court delivered a judgement in the case of S v Minister for Justice [2022] IEHC 578, which we discuss in detail in our blog post available here: https://berkeleysolicitors.ie/recent-high-court-judgement-refusal-of-travel-visa-for-employment-permit-holder/

 

The case concerned an Indian citizen who was granted a work permit to take up a position as a tandoori chef. The Applicant then applied for a visa to enable him enter Ireland to take up this employment position, but his visa application was refused. The Applicant appealed against this refusal; his appeal was also unsuccessful. The Applicant initiated Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court, seeking an order of certiorari to quash the decision. Ms Justice Bolger found for the applicant and granted the order quashing the decision.

 

We noted in our blog post that this case raises the conflict that can arise when a person has been granted an employment permit and requires an employment visa to enter the State.

 

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment have responsibility for the issuance of employment permits. When a person who has been granted an employment permit is a national of a country that requires an entry visa to enter Ireland, their application to enter Ireland for the purpose of employment is subjected to a review by the Minister for Justice in their visa application.

 

The Minister in respect of the Applicant in the S case had found in the refusal decision that the Applicant had not provided sufficient evidence that they had the appropriate skills, knowledge, or experience for the employment position in Ireland. The High Court found that a work permit does not constitute prima facie evidence that the Applicant has the skills and experience required for the proposed employment. However, the Court found that it also cannot simply be ignored.

 

The Minister for Justice does not limit her assessment of a visa application to immigration matters only and will often undertake an examination of the Applicant’s suitability for the employment position they have been issued an employment permit for. We are now seeing a series of visa refusals which rely on the S case to allow the Visa Officer to re-assess the Applicant’s suitability for the prospective employment. Some refusals purport to state, in the case of roles such as horticultural workers, meat processing operatives, dairy farm assistants, and healthcare assistants, as such roles require no or few qualifications or experience in circumstances where the employer will provide training, that the Visa Officer is entitled, “in the absence of such safeguards” to “thoroughly assess” an applicant’s suitability to perform their duties. We believe that many of these decisions may unlawfully ignore the employer’s duty to provide training in respect of these roles, and that Visa Office may be inferring an additional requirement at visa processing stage to show qualifications and experience in roles where no qualifications or experience are required by the Department of Enterprise.

 

We further note that these decisions may place an undue reliance on the S case to ignore the Department of Enterprise’s role in assessing a candidate’s suitability for a proposed role. Bolger J. stated at paragraph 37 that: “I do not consider the work permit constitutes the type of prima facie evidence that is contended for by the applicant. However, neither do I accept that it can be ignored.” [emphasis added]. We note that the context to the above quote is that the applicant in that case contended that the Visa Officer “cannot look behind the grant of the permit or require an applicant for a visa to show that they are qualified to do the job for which they were granted that permit.” This would preclude the Visa Offer from having any consideration of the Applicant’s qualifications, skills, or experience in respect of the proposed role. This was not considered to be the case by the High Court. However, importantly, neither can the issuance of the work permit by the Department of Enterprise be ignored in considering an Applicant’s suitability for the proposed role. Therefore, while the issuance of a work permit cannot in and of itself constitute evidence of qualifications and experience or the offer of sufficient training, it is certainly persuasive, and cannot be ignored in the Visa Officer’s consideration of an Applicant’s suitability for the proposed role.

 

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.

NEW ACT INTRODUCING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP COMMENCED

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has commenced the majority of the provisions of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023.
This Act has introduced significant amendments to immigration, citizenship and naturalisation law in Ireland, to take effect from 31st July 2023. The major changes are outlined below:
The Act contains amendments to a number of provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts.
Children born in the State who are not entitled to Irish citizenship by birth, will now be eligible to apply for naturalisation after three years of reckonable residency in the State, reduced from five years……

RECENT UPDATES TO DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURALISATION APPLICATIONS

The Department of Justice have recently made a number of changes to the documentary requirements for naturalisation applications.

On 21st April 2023, a new notice was published on the Minister’s website confirming that all new applicants for naturalisation are only required to provide a certified colour copy of the biometric page of their current passport. The colour copy of the biometric page can be certified by a Solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths, Peace Commissioner or Notary Public.

This replaces the old system introduced in January 2022 which required applicants to provide a full certified copy of their current passport and any previous passports valid during the period of reckonable residency claimed.

The full notice is available here: https://www.irishimmigration.ie/further-guidance-on-new-passport-process-when-submitting-an-application-for-naturalisation/

The Department also introduced a new Citizenship Guidance Document on 24th May 2023, outlining a number of changes to the scorecard system for proofs of identity and residence.

The Document outlines a new two-part system in which applicants exhibit their residency in Ireland for the periods of reckonable residency claimed.

For each of these years, applicants must provide one Type A document, worth 100 points, and one Type B document, worth 50 points.

Applicants are required to attain 150 points for proofs of identity and proofs of residence.

However, if applicants are unable to meet the 150-point threshold for any of the years, applicants can prepare a ‘residential proof affidavit’ to address the shortfall.

The Citizenship Guidance Document can be accessed here: https://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Citizenship-Guidance-Document.pdf

Berkeley Solicitors is highly specialised in citizenship applications. Please do contact us if you need advice or assistance in this regard.

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.

UPDATE REGARDING ELIGIBLE SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF GENERAL EMPLOYMENT PERMIT AND INTRA-COMPANY TRANSFEREE IRISH EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDERS

BERKELEY SOLICITORS VOTED ONE OF IRELAND’S BEST LAW FIRMS 2023

The Irish Independent published the list of Ireland’s Best Law Firms 2023 on the 2nd October 2022. The list was compiled following a peer-to-peer survey of more than 1,000 legal professionals.

Berkeley Solicitors are delighted to have been voted one the best law firms in Ireland for 2023. This is the second year in a row Berkeley Solicitors have been included in the list, in the category of Human Rights and Immigration.

Berkeley Solicitors would like to express our gratitude for our clients’ and colleagues’ continued support. We look forward to working with you and continuing our relationships into 2023.

The full list of Ireland’s Best Law Firms 2023 can be found here.

CLIENTS OF BERKELEY SOLICITORS WIN THEIR CASE BEFORE THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE IN SUBHAN AND ALI

On the 15th of September 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a seminal judgement in the area of EU free movement law, finding in favour of the applicants in the case of C-22/21  (Subhan and Ali v the Minister for Justice and Equality.)

The judgment can be found here.

The applicants, who are long standing clients of Berkeley Solicitors, first issued proceedings in 2016 to challenge the Minister’s refusal of an EU residence card to the non-EEA national cousin of a British citizen in 2015. The Minster had refused the residence card application on the basis that evidence had not been provided that the EU citizen was the “head of the household”. The Subhan and Ali case became the test case for many other applicants also challenging the Minister’s decisions relating to the interpretation of term “members of the household of the union citizen” in the context of Directive 2004/38/EC.

On the 14th January 2021, the Irish Supreme Court made a preliminary reference to the CJEU to seeking a definition of the term “member of the household of an EU citizen”.

The Court of Justice’s judgment delivered today confirmed that the inclusion of the concept of “head of the household”, adopted by Ireland in its narrow assessment of the definition “members of the household”, amounts to an additional criterion not provided for in the wording of Article 3(2)(a) of Directive 2004/38/EC and is not permissible. The Minister’s finding in the Applicants’ case was therefore unlawful and imposed an additional test not envisaged by the Directive and would amount to imposing, in practice, an additional criterion not provided for in the wording of that provision. The decision therefore clearly holds the “head of the household test” applied by the Minister against the applicants was not in accordance with the EU Directive.

This ruling goes much further than declaring the legality of the Applicants decision under challenge,  as the Court of Justice has also provided a novel definition of the term “membership of the household” applicable to all member states.

The Court of Justice held that Article 3(2)(a) of Directive 2004/38/EC must be interpreted as meaning that:

“the concept of ‘any other family members who are members of the household of the Union citizen having the primary right of residence’, mentioned in that provision, refers to persons who have a relationship of dependence with that citizen, based on close and stable personal ties, forged within the same household, in the context of a shared domestic life going beyond a mere temporary cohabitation entered into for reasons of pure convenience.”

The judgment has therefore provided the much needed clarification on the parameters of which  family members of an EU citizen are or are not the “members of a household of an EU citizen”.

The Court’s definition, in requiring a “relationship of dependence” is a narrower interpretation than the ordinary meaning of the words “member of the household”.  The Court has also clarified that a person is not a “member of the household” for the purposes of the Directive by simple virtue of residing under the one roof.

The Court has determined that this interpretation is supported by the “context of the provision”, which is included alongside dependent family members and members of the family requiring the strict personal care of the EU citizen for medical reasons:

The first situation, in which those other family members are dependents of the Union citizen, concerns a situation of financial dependence. The second situation, in which serious health grounds strictly require the personal care of the ‘other family member’ by the Union citizen, expressly refers to a situation of physical dependence. In that context, the situation at issue in the main proceedings – in which the other family member is a member of the household of the Union citizen – must be understood as also covering a situation of dependence, based this time on the existence of close and stable personal ties between those two persons.

An applicant must therefore be able to evidence a situation of dependence arising from close and stable personal ties between themselves and the EU citizen with whom they share a “domestic life”.

The Court goes on to clarify: However, it cannot be required that those ties be such that the Union citizen would refrain from exercising his freedom of movement if that other member of his family could not accompany or join him in the host Member State.

The Court also appears to answer another important question that was not specifically referred to it in confirming that time spent as members of the same household before acquisition of EU citizenship by one of the family members is also relevant in considering whether the applicant is a member of the household of the EU citizen. This is a very interesting aspect to the judgment as it clarifies that family circumstances prior to one of the parties becoming an EU citizen can be taken into account in determining whether an applicant is a beneficiary of the Directive. At paragraph 29 the Court concludes :

The duration of the domestic life shared by the Union citizen and the other family member concerned is also an important factor to be taken into consideration in assessing whether there are stable personal ties between them. It must be possible to determine that duration irrespective of the date on which Union citizenship was acquired. It follows from point (a) of the first subparagraph of Article 3(2) of Directive 2004/38, interpreted in the light of recital 6 thereof, that, in order to assess the stability of the personal ties linking those two individuals, it is necessary to take into account not only the period subsequent to the acquisition of Union citizenship, but also the period prior to this.

This is a very important and long-awaited judgment, and it has set a significant precedent for EU free movement law.

The definition provided by the Court is clear and has provided EU member states with substantial clarity on the meaning of “member of the household”. Until now, the parameters around membership of the same household were very unclear, with applicants arguing for a wide interpretation and the State applying a very narrow interpretation.

This new legal definition provides a basis for a reasonable and balanced approach by Member States in the assessment of the free movement rights of EU citizens and their wider family members.

This Judgment will have far reaching implications beyond the applicants in the proceedings and the High Court holding list, but also all those who have applied for EU residence cards not only Ireland, but across the EU, on the basis of being the member of the household of an EU national.

We wish to extend our warmest congratulations to our clients who have waited many years for this ruling today.

The judgement can be read in full here.