Tag Archive for: immigration

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES BRIDGING PERMISSION FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDENTS

The Immigration Service Delivery have announced another bridging permission this year for English Language course students who have successfully completed a course and are subsequently enrolled in a Higher Education Programme commencing by end of October 2024.

The bridging permission is a short-term Stamp 2 permission granted until 30th September 2024.

This is relevant for English language students moving to higher education in the coming academic year, whose stamp will expire before they can commence their new course.

This permission is on the basis that applicants will be in a position to provide documentary evidence of a confirmed and fully paid Higher Education Programme listed on the Interim List of Eligible Providers (ILEP) and that the programme commences in September 2024.

Students wishing to avail of this bridging permission must have:

  • An in-date IRP card or a card that has expired within one month when applying for the bridging permission;
  • Successfully completed a 3rd English Language course listed on the ILEP or successfully completed a 2nd English Language course listed on the ILEP on or after 1st July;
  • Have enrolled in and paid fees in full for a Higher Education Programme listed on the ILEP;
  • Apply for a renewal (bridging permission) via their local immigration office.

The bridging permission will allow non-EEA nationals who have successfully completed their 2nd or 3rd English language courses and who are progressing to a Higher Education Course to remain in the State pending commencement of their course.

The full announcement can be found here:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/english-language-students-stamp-2-bridging-permission-2024-update/

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 TO ELIGIBILTY REQUIREMENTS FOR STAMP 4

UPDATE TO ELIGIBILTY REQUIREMENTS FOR STAMP 4

The Department of Justice have recently changed the eligibility requirements for a Stamp 4 upgrade for employment permit holders. Please note that Stamp 4 support letters are no longer required for this upgrade, and your Stamp 4 permission can be registered at your registration office.

Effective from 3rd April 2024, employment permit holders with a Stamp 1 or 1H permission who have completed 21 months of employment are eligible for a Stamp 4 upgrade at their registration office.

The eligible categories include Critical Skills Employment Permit holder, individuals resident on the basis of a Hosting Agreement as a Researcher, or a Multi-Site General Employment Permit holder as a Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor.

General Employment Permit holders can now obtain a Stamp 4 after 57 months as opposed to 60 months. This means that General Employment Permit holders do not have to apply for long-term residence to the Immigration Service Delivery and can instead upgrade their permission to a Stamp 4 at their registration office.

A significant change to this is that the time period is now judged from date of commencement of employment, rather than the date of registration of Stamp 1 permission, as it had been previously. This had been a significant issue for employees recently due to long delays in registration. Commencement of employment in the State will be determined via your Employment Detail Summary, available on revenue.ie/myaccount.

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

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/update-to-eligibility-requirements-for-stamp-4-upgrades/

For further details on immigration permissions or stamps please visit the following link:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/registering-your-immigration-permission/information-on-registering/immigration-permission-stamps/

Berkeley Solicitors are available to provide support and assistance to any employment permit holders looking to upgrade to a Stamp 4.

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

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

On the 4th of March 2024, the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced that, effective from 7th March 2024, nationals of Dominica, Honduras and Vanuatu will now be required to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland.

A transit visa will also be required for nationals of these countries if they are travelling through Ireland on the way to another destination.

The Minister stated that this decision was made to bring Ireland into closer alignment with the visa regime in the UK and Schengen area.

Transitional arrangements will be put in place for nationals of the affected countries who have existing arrangements to travel to the State in the weeks after the new visa requirements come into effect. For affected people who have made plans to travel to Ireland, and can show evidence of booking and paying for that travel, ISD will try to accommodate emergency travel for customers, in the following circumstances:

‘1. A critical medical case involving a family member being seriously ill or undergoing medical treatment.

  1. Visiting a significant family event – a birth, wedding or funeral.
  2. Taking up a place obtained in a third-level institution on an undergraduate or post graduate degree course.
  3. Taking up employment and holding an Employment Permit for Ireland.
  4. Travelling for business.’

Those attempting to be accommodated for emergency travel in any of the above circumstances must provide suitable evidence of same to ISD.

ISD has announced that if a person believes they fall into any of the above categories, and your scheduled arrival is on or before 7th April 2024, to email [email protected] with the subject line “Visa Imposition – Emergency Travel Required.”

This comes after the announcements that Convention Travel Document holders would now be visa required in July 2022, and that Bolivian nationals would be visa required in September 2023.

Ms McEntee also announced that the visa requirement for diplomatic passport holders of Indonesia, Qatar, Kuwait, Montenegro, Kuwait, Türkiye, Colombia, Peru and Georgia has now been lifted.

The requirement for a visa has also been listed for those accompanying a Minister of the Government of the above referenced countries on an official visit to the State, provided the person has an official passport, service passport or public affairs passport. The same policy applies for Irish diplomats travelling to these countries.

The Minister for Justice announced that this move would enhance the close ties in the political, economic and cultural spheres and continue to develop a close relationship with those countries.

The Minister for Justice stated that the Irish visa requirements are kept under constant review, having regard to 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 full notice can be found here.

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.

RECENT HIGH COURT JUDGMENT UPHOLDS DECISION TO REFUSE IRISH PASSPORT TO CHILD OF SUBSIDIARY PROTECTION HOLDER

RECENT HIGH COURT JUDGMENT UPHOLDS DECISION TO REFUSE IRISH PASSPORT TO CHILD OF SUBSIDIARY PROTECTION HOLDER

The High Court has recently delivered a judgement in T.R.I. (A Minor Suing by his Mother and Next Friend L.B.) v The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Justice [2024] IEHC 96.

The case concerned a minor child born in Ireland in September of 2019, whose mother holds a declaration of subsidiary protection status.

Subsidiary protection is granted to individuals facing a real risk of suffering serious harm if returned to their country of origin, or their country of former habitual residence.

In August of 2021, the Applicant’s mother applied for an Irish passport on behalf of her child.

Section 6A(1) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 states that a person born on the island of Ireland “shall not be entitled” to Irish citizenship unless their parent has, during the four years immediately preceding the birth, a period of reckonable residence of not less than three years.

However, Section 6A(2)(d)(i) qualifies that section 6A(1) does not apply to a child born on the island of Ireland if one parent is entitled to reside in the State “without any restriction” on their residence.

As the mother is a subsidiary protection holder, it was argued that she fell within this subsection of persons who are entitled to reside in the State without any restriction on their period of residence. This would mean the child was entitled to Irish citizenship by birth, even though the mother had less than three years’ reckonable residence in the four years immediately prior to the child’s birth.

This application was refused on the 15th of November 2022, on the basis that Section 6A (2)(d)(i) of the 1956 Act does not apply to a person with subsidiary protection.

The Applicant, through his mother, challenged this decision by way of Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court. It was argued that the mother is entitled to reside in the State without restriction, as the relevant law states that her permission “shall” be renewable, and it is not in any way restricted by time.

The Applicants relied on the Court of Appeal decision in AJK v The Minister for Defence [2020] 2 IR 800, where the Court found that subsidiary protection was “in effect an open-ended right of residence.”

Ms Justice Bolger considered the decision in AJK and stated that she did not consider it established an open-ended right of residence for a person with subsidiary protection. She stated that the comments of Donnelly J must be read in context of the entire judgement and highlighted that the case did not concern citizenship.

Ms Justice Bolger stated that although the law states that the subsidiary protection permission “shall be renewable”, its renewal is in fact conditional; firstly on the continuation of the circumstances that justified the grant of subsidiary protection in the first place, and secondly on there being no compelling reasons of national security or public order.

The Judge stated:

“The mother’s right to renew her permission to reside in the State via her grant of subsidiary protection… is and always was for a temporally restricted permission of a period less than three years subject to conditions.”

Ms Justice Bolger therefore upheld the decision of the Respondent to refuse the child’s application for an Irish passport.

The full judgement can be found here.

If you or a family member have any queries regarding Citizenship, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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.

IMMIGRATION SERVICE DELIVERY ANNOUNCE INITIATIVE TO FACILITATE CUSTOMER TRAVELLING AT CHRISTMAS

The Minister for Justice recently published a notice on their website to facilitate customers who may wish to travel over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Travel Confirmation Notice states that Non-EU/EEA residents who have submitted an application to renew their permission in advance of its expiry, may use their current recently expired IRP card to travel between 6th December 2023 and 31st January 2024.

The notice has been introduced in consideration of the current backlog in processing renewals.

 

The notice only applies to persons who have submitted an application to renew their permission, prior to its expiry. The entitlement will not apply to persons who submitted an application for renewal after its expiry.

To avail if this notice, persons should have the following on hand for their travels during this period:

 

 

The ISD state that they have advised all airlines and foreign missions of the Irish initiative in place of this note, however it cannot force them to comply.

From the 31st of January 2024 onwards, a valid in date IRP card and/or appropriate visa will be required where non-nationals intend to re-enter the State.

 

For further details of the initiative please see the below link:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/immigration-service-delivery-isd-announces-initiative-to-facilitate-customers-travelling-at-christmas/

 

For frequently asked questions of the notice, please see the below link:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/ISD-Website-Travel-Notice-FAQs-2023-1.pdf

 

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.

 

STAMP 0 PERMISSION ACCEPTED AS RECKONABLE RESIDENCE FOR NATURALISATION

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……

Clients of Berkeley Solicitors win their judicial review case before the High Court in N.I. V MJE 2022 / 442 /JR

Clients of Berkeley Solicitors win their judicial review case before the High Court in N.I. V MJE 2022 / 442 /JR

Berkeley Solicitors would like to congratulate our clients who have received a positive judgement from the High Court today in their Judicial review proceedings.

The applicant, a minor Somali citizen, issued proceedings through her aunt and next friend challenging a decision of the Minister for Justice to refuse the her visa appeal to join her aunt and family in Ireland following the death of both her parents in Somalia.

We argued on behalf of our clients that the Minister acted in breach of fair procedures on a number of grounds. In refusing to grant the visa, it was submitted that the Minister failed to fully consider the best interests of the applicant in light of her particularly vulnerable position as a 14-year-old orphan residing outside her country of origin, without familial support.

It was submitted by the Respondent that the Applicant had failed to show sufficient evidence of a familial link between the applicant and the sponsor. Furthermore, it was submitted that the sponsor did not prove that she ‘is, or ever had been, socially or financially dependent on the sponsor’. The Minister also considered that the adoption of the Applicant was not recognisable under Irish law in light of the fact that there is no bilateral treaty in existence between Ireland and Somalia governing adoptions and similarly, that Somalia is not a party to the Hague Convention.

As a result, the Minister held that neither Article 41 of the Constitution nor Article 8 of the ECHR protecting the right to family life were applicable to the Applicant and the sponsor.
In setting aside the decision of the Minister, Mr Justice Barr held that the decision maker erred on a number of grounds in failing to recognise that a 14-year old orphan, ‘without any family support in a very unstable country, was not in an extremely vulnerable position, such that it constituted exceptional circumstances’.

Acknowledging the importance of family reunification in situations where individuals had fled persecution, Justice Barr held the Respondent was wrong in concluding that ‘there was no documentary evidence of familial relationship between the applicant and sponsor’. It was accepted that a number of important documents to this effect had been submitted by the Applicant, including a court order transferring guardianship of the application to the sponsor.

Furthermore, the emphasis placed by the decision maker on the issue of adoption as a basis for refusal, ‘an argument that was never put forward by the applicant, nor was put to her for comment’, was held to have breached the applicants right to fair procedure, rendering the decision ‘fatally flawed’.

Referring to the case of Tanda-Muzinga v France (2260/2010), the following passage was highlighted by the Court:
‘there exists a consensus at international and European level on the need for refugees to benefit from a family reunification procedure that is more favourable than that foreseen for other aliens, as evidenced by the remit and the activities of the UNHCR and the standards set out in Directive 2003/86 EC of the European Union’.

It was highlighted by the Court that this obligation is envisioned under Irish law in s.56 of the International Protection Act, 2015. Similarly, in line with our duties under Article 10.1 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, that ‘applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner’.

Significantly, it was held that the Appeals officer hadn’t sufficiently considered ‘the extremely adverse consequences’ the refusal decision represented for the applicant. As a result, the Court held that the decision clearly constituted ‘exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature, which would have justified a departure from the financial requirements of the policy’.
The Judgement will be available on the High Court webpage in the coming days.

Our office wishes to congratulate our clients on this positive development in their case today and would also like to thank our counsel for their dedicated work on this case.

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.