Tag Archive for: Berkeley Solicitors

RECOMMENCEMENT OF CITIZENSHIP CEREMONIES

The first citizenship ceremony since early 2020 was recently held on the 20th June 2022 in Killarney, County Kerry.

The in-person ceremonies were postponed for over two years due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The ceremonies were temporarily replaced with the signing of a declaration of fidelity to the State.

Berkeley Solicitors wishes to congratulate all those who have recently received their Irish Citizenship and we welcome the return of the citizenship ceremonies which allows the recipients to celebrate this occasion.

If you or a family member has any queries regarding your immigration status please do not hesitate to contact us.

FAILURE TO REGISTER TEMPORARY PROTECTION HOLDERS

The Minister for Justice has made a decision not to register the immigration permission of persons legally resident in Ireland with Temporary Protection in accordance with Section 60 of the International Protection Act, the Temporary Protection Directive (2001/55/EC) and Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022.

The Minister has granted such persons letters confirming their temporary protection along with a right to work, PPS numbers and accompanying supports. The provision of residence permission and such rights to persons who have fled Ukraine is very welcome.

However, the failure to register the holders of temporary protection and provide them with IRP registration cards is problematic for a number of reasons.

Non-EEA citizens resident in Ireland are required by law to register pursuant to Section 9 of the Immigration Act 2004, failure to register is in fact an offence under the 2004 Act.

Citizens of Ukraine are now non- visa required in the Irish Immigration context and it appears their re-entry to Ireland following any travel is being facilitated by production of their temporary protection letter, however the standard immigration procedure would be to produce to the immigration officer a valid IRP card.

A specific difficulty arises for holders of temporary protection, who fled from Ukraine, who are nationals of visa required countries.

Without an IRP card to recognise their legal residence in Ireland such persons are in fact restricted in being able to travel outside of the State as they have no document to facilitate their return to the State.

The Minister has abolished the re-entry visa system for adults and therefore the reality is that in absence of a valid IRP card, such persons would have no document to facilitate their return to Ireland.

Furthermore, it is unclear as to the rights of family reunification for holders of temporary protection as they do not hold a distinct immigration registration stamp.

Berkeley Solicitors has successfully obtained registration for a holder of temporary protection and are happy to note that our client has been issued with Stamp 4 registration permission.

This will allow our client to travel in and out of Ireland without difficulty. Our client also now holds Stamp 4 registration which is a clearly reckonable stamp for the purpose of a naturalisation application and has clearly defined rules as to the right to family reunification.

In our view the Minister for Justice should facilitate the registration of all persons in Ireland who have been issued temporary protection with Stamp 4 permission without further delay.

RE-ENTRY VISAS FOR CHILDREN UNDER 16 SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

In a notice published on the 14th June 2022 it was announced that the requirement to obtain a re-entry visa has been suspended indefinitely for children under 16.

The notice states that children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who hold legal residence permission in the State.

The accompanying adult must prove that they are the legal parent or guardian of the child by providing suitable documentation such as:

• A birth or adoption certificate, or guardianship papers showing your relationship with the child
• A marriage/divorce certificate if you are the child’s parent but have a different surname
• A death certificate in the case of a deceased parent

The full notice can be found at: https://www.irishimmigration.ie/suspension-of-re-entry-visa-requirements-for-children-under-the-age-of-16-years/

If you or a family member have queries about your immigration permission please do not hesitate to contact us.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PUBLISHES “NOTICE FOR EMPLOYERS- MAY 2022”

On 23rd May 2022, the Department of Justice published on their website a “Notice for Employers- May 2022”

The notice relates to the Covid-19 temporary extensions of immigration permissions set to expire on the 31st May 2022. This temporary permission extension covers persons who have had their permission extended by any of the previous eight temporary extensions since March 2020. You can find our previous blog post regarding this extension here.

The Department of Justice has announced that there are no plans to issue an extension beyond the 31st May 2022 but states that those covered by the extension are entitled to remain, reside and work in the State if their permission previously granted permitted them to do so.

We submit that the notice of the 23rd May 2022 is problematic for a number of reasons.

A non-EEA national is required under Section 5 of the Immigration Act 2004 to hold a permission from the Minister to reside in the State. Immigration permission is generally held by an individual by virtue of a permission letter from the Minister for Justice accompanied by a certificate of registration in the form of an IRP card. In some instances, a person does not hold a permission letter and the permission comes directly from the registration certificate (IRP card).

By virtue of Section 9 of the Immigration Act 2004 Non-EEA nationals are also required to register their immigration permission and the Minister is obliged to facilitate this registration.

In many instances, persons whose permission will expire on 31st May 2022 do not have a current permission letter and are not registered as they have been relying or have had to rely on the Minister’s Covid 19 extensions of permission and therefore they will not be the holder of a valid immigration permission in the State from 31st May 2022 onwards.

The Minister’s notice further states: those covered by the extension are entitled to remain, reside and work in the State if their permission previously granted permitted them to do so..

…If your employee’s IRP card has expired and they are unable to obtain a valid registration card by 31 May 2022, they are still legally permitted to remain in the State provided they show proof that they have applied to renew their registration and are waiting for it to be processed.

We submit that this notice is not sufficient to deal with the major issue that a large number of persons are in fact going to fall undocumented on 31st May 2022 as they will now be without either a permission letter or an IRP card.

We would argue that all non-EEA nationals should be provided with a permission letter and or an IRP card to evidence their residence permission in the State and that persons should not be required to rely on this notice only as evidence of their legal residence. We submit that the Minister should extend the covid 19 extension of permission until the registration office is in a position to issue IRP cards in a timely and efficient manner.

The notice itself recognises the delay in the processing of registration applications and issuance of IRP cards:

“Please note that, in relation to renewals in the Dublin area, ISD is experiencing a very large volume of applications. The current processing time to renew a permission is 10 weeks. It can then take a further two weeks to receive a new IRP card.

We submit that the Minister is not complying with her obligations under Section 9 of the Immigration act 2004 in publishing a general notice rather than facilitating registrations and issuing IRP cards as required. We submit that the Minister should at minimum clarify that all permissions will be backdated to the date of application for renewal/ registration.

The notice has directed that those who hold employment permits must check with employment permits division of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment regarding the issuing of a new or renewed employment permit.

It appears that the Minister’s notice on the ISD webpage is also at odds with the published policy on the website of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s website which states:

“An employment permit is not a Residence Permission. In order to be lawfully resident in the State, it is a requirement that all non-EEA nationals in possession of an employment permit must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. It is in the best interest of the persons concerned to register as soon as possible following arrival. Delay in registering with Garda National Immigration Bureau could affect applications in the granting of long-term residency and/or citizenship. Immigration permission to remain should, where applicable, be renewed at least one month before the expiry date in order to avoid unlawful presence in the State.”

The current position is of particular concern to visas required nationals. Non-EEA nationals resident in Ireland are required to produce a valid IRP card to re-enter the State after travel. This means that those who are unable to secure an IRP card before the 31st May 2022 will be unable to leave the State until they have acquired a renewed IRP card. There is currently no system for processing re-entry visas for adults in the State since it was abolished in 2019 and therefore this would not be an alternative avenue visa required nationals could pursue should they be required to leave the State.   We submit that if the Minister is not in a position to issue IRP cards in a timely manner the re-entry visa system should now be re-opened to persons in this position.

We submit that the current position the Minister has adopted will also negatively impact those who are intending to apply for naturalisation.  A person’s reckonable residence is calculated from their permission letter and/or the date of their registration as reflected on their IRP card, in absence of either of these documents it appears affected persons are now set to lose out on reckonable residence for the period of time it takes to obtain their renewed IRP card. We expect this issue will cause complications for persons trying to meet the inflexible statutory requirements of reckonable residency under Section 16A of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended) which requires a 12 month period of continuous residence prior to the date of application. Thus a gap in registration will prevent many non nationals from applying for naturalization within the following 12 month period. We submit this is not an acceptable position.

 

Berkeley Solicitors has written to the Minister to outline our concerns.  We have submitted that the Covid-19 extension of permissions should be continued until the backlog in registrations is dealt with or that at a minimum the Minister’s notice should be amended to address the above issues, to include:

  • The immigration permission of any individual who is covered by notice is extended up until the date they receive their renewed IRP card;
  • The immigration permission of any individual who is covered by notice will be backdated to the date of application for registration and their IRP card will reflect this;
  • The re-entry visa system will be reopened for visa required nationals who need to travel whilst their registration application is being processed;
  • Persons covered by this notice should receive a letter/ confirmation their immigration permission from 31st May 2022 until the issuance of their new IRP card is reckonable for an application for naturalization.

The full notice can be found here:

CLIENTS OF BERKELEY SOLICITORS APPROVED CERTIFICATES OF NATIONALITY

Berkeley Solicitors would like to congratulate our clients and their minor children who were recently granted certificates of nationality pursuant to Section 28 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.

The applicants were minor children who were born in the State but not entitled to citizenship at birth of any other country.

We applied to the Minister to grant them certificates of nationality on the basis that they were Irish citizens by birth pursuant to Section 6 (3) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended by section 3(1) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2001, which states as follows:

“A person born in the island of Ireland is an Irish citizen from birth if he or she is not entitled to citizenship of any other country.”

The granting of this application results in our clients being recognised as Irish citizens.

We are delighted in this wonderful outcome for our clients.

Berkeley Solicitors would be happy to advise any clients in similar situations and would encourage you or any family members in such positions to contact our office.

ELIGIBILITY FOR TEMPORARY PROTECTION

On the 9th March 2022, the Department of Justice published an information page on Temporary Protection for persons fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. It is indicated that the categories of persons eligible for temporary protection are as follows:

  • Ukrainian nationals who were residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;
  • Nationals of a third country (other than Ukraine) or stateless persons who would have benefited from international protection (e.g. Refugee status) or an equivalent national protection status in Ukraine and have been residing there before 24 February 2022
  • Family members of persons covered by a) and b) where the family already existed in Ukraine at the time of events leading to the mass influx prior to 24 February.
  • Those family members include a spouse or partner, unmarried minor children of either of them, and their other close dependent family relatives who have been living with them as part of the family unit.

 

It will also apply to people who had been residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022 with a permanent Ukrainian residence permit, who cannot safely return to their country of origin.

Temporary protection may also be extended to other people who were legally residing in Ukraine who cannot safely return to their country of origin, including nationals from non-EU countries or stateless persons. People who can safely return to their country of origin will be assisted to do so.

Persons who are eligible for temporary protection will obtain a letter on arrival at Dublin Airport confirming this. The letter will give the holder permission to reside for twelve months, access to the labour market, plus access to public services.

Persons who are eligible for temporary protection and arrived in the State between the 24th February 2022 and the 9th March 2022 will not have received the temporary protection letter. The Department is making urgent arrangements to provide the temporary protection letter to this group of people.

The information notice does not address the situation of Ukrainians who arrived in the State prior to the 24th February 2022. Our office is making enquiries regarding the Department’s position on accepting applications for temporary protection from this category of persons.

If you are in this category, you should seek legal advice on your options, including the option  of submitting an application for international protection.

 

 

Please review the information note in full at the following link:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/information-on-temporary-protection-for-people-fleeing-the-conflict-in-ukraine/

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.

BERKELEY SOLICITORS IS RECRUITING FOR AN IMMIGRATION SOLICITOR

Berkeley Solicitors is recruiting for an Immigration Solicitor.

Please see attached add for further details: CLICK HERE

 

RECENT IMMIGATION UPDATES

Important information for residents of  South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia

In a notice published on the 22nd December 2021 on the webpage of the Embassy of Ireland, South Africa  it is stated that With effect from 00.01 on Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, nationals of Botswana, Eswatini Lesotho and South Africa are no longer entry visa required and nationals of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa are no longer transit visa required.

https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/south-africa/

There is no such notice on the Home Page of the Immigration Service Delivery, however the list of visa and non-visa required nationals has been updated to reflect this change.

http://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Immigration-Service-Delivery-Visa-and-Non-Visa-Required-Countries.pdf

 

Deadline to Apply for Withdrawal Agreement Beneficiaries Card extended:

The Minister has extended the deadline to apply for a Withdrawal Agreement Beneficiaries from 31st December 2020 to the 30th June 2022. It is important that any Non-EEA family member of a British citizen who is currently resident in the State on foot of an EU Fam residence card applies to exchange their residence card for a  Withdrawal Agreement Beneficiaries without delay. It is also open to British citizens themselves to apply for this recognition as well.

The full notice can be found below:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/extension-of-date-for-non-eea-family-members-of-uk-nationals-residing-in-ireland-before-the-end-of-the-transition-period-on-31-december-2020-to-apply-for-a-residence-document-under-the-withdrawal-agre/

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES FURTHER EXTENSION OF IMMIGRATION PERMISSIONS TO 31ST MAY 2022

On the 17th December 2021, Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee announced a further extension of international protection and immigration permissions. The extension has been set to 31st May 2022. Therefore, any person in the State who’s immigration permission was due to expire between 15th January 2022 and 31st May 2022 will automatically have permission to reside in the State up to 31st May 2022. This temporary permission extension also covers persons who have had their permission extended by any of the previous eight temporary extensions since March 2020.

 

Every person that qualifies for this temporary permission extension should either register or renew their permission before 31st May 2022, in order to confirm that they continue to have valid permission to reside in the State after this date.

 

In its statement announcing the new extension, the Department of Justice assured that anyone who is entitled to a new IRP card may travel during the Christmas period up to 15th January 2022, using their current expired IRP card. However, adults who plan to travel after 15th January 2022 that have not yet received their new IRP card must secure a re-entry visa in Ireland before travelling or in an overseas visa office before returning. Minors travelling with legally resident parent/s or guardian/s will not need a re-entry visa, per the current  suspension on this requirement that will be extended to 31st May 2022.

 

The Burgh Quay registration office in Dublin is open for appointments and those based in Dublin can renew their permission online at https://inisonline.jahs.ie. Renewals for persons located outside of Dublin are processed by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

 

The Department has announced that they will be launching a new Freephone telephone booking system in January to assist with the high demand for first time registration appointments.

 

The full statement announcing the permission extension can be found on the Department of Justice’s website here.