Tag Archive for: Irish Immigration law

IMMIGRATION IN IRELAND STATISTICS MID-TERM REVIEW

IMMIGRATION IN IRELAND STATISTICS MID-TERM REVIEW

 

The Department of Justice has provided up to date statistics from January 2022 to June 2022 in relation to, Residency and EU Treaty Rights, Visa, Citizenship statistics, International protection, and Removal/Deportation. The statistics were broken down by nationality, gender, and age group.

In relation to EU Treaty Rights Applications from January to June 2022, the data shows that nationals from Brazil, South Africa, and Pakistan were the top nationalities of applications received by the Department of Justice. 1356 applications were received from Brazil, 240 from Pakistan, and 153 from South Africa.

The statistics found that nationals from India, Egypt, and China were the top nationalities for Long Term Residency Applications. 30 applications for Indian nationals, 26 applications for Egyptian nationals, and 25 for Chinese nationals (including Hong Kong).

The total visas decided from January to June 2022 were primarily from India, Nigeria, and Turkey. With 21535 visas from Indian nationals, 3396 visas from Nigerian nationals, and 3019 visas from Turkish nationals. In total, most of the visas granted were for Indian (20736 visas), Turkish (2812 visas), and Chinese nationals (2477 visas). The most refused visas were for nationals from Nigeria (1568), India (799), and Pakistan (541), with an overall number of 5825 visas refused. The total decided re-entry visas from January to June 2022 were from Indian, Pakistani and Egyptian nationals.

From January to June 2022, there were 7039 citizenship certificates issued, mainly in respect of United Kingdom, Indian, and Pakistani nationals.

In total, there were 6495 applications received relating to International Protection Applications for 2022. Mainly from Georgia (1811), Somalia (938), and Algeria (698). Out of those applications, there were 1037 applications that have been approved, primarily from Somalia, Afghanistan, and Zimbabwe. Moreover, 1657 applications were refused primarily from Nigeria (216), Georgia (216), Zimbabwe (204).

In relation to Family Reunification Applications, there were 1137 applications submitted from January to June 2022, mainly from nationals of Somalia (489), Afghanistan (247), and Syria (69). 1911 applications for access to the labour market were submitted from January to June 2022, mainly from Somalia, Georgia, and Nigeria nationals.

There were 23 total removals effected, primarily from Romania, Lithuania, and Poland nationals. 54 deportations effected primarily from Pakistan, Nigeria, and Georgia nationals.

The book for the full statistics can be found here: https://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Mid-Year-Review-Statistics-Booklet-2022.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.

ADVOCATE GENERAL’S OPINION FINDS IRELAND CANNOT REFUSE DISABILITY ALLOWANCE TO DEPENDENT RELATIVE OF EU WORKER

ADVOCATE GENERAL’S OPINION FINDS IRELAND CANNOT REFUSE DISABILITY ALLOWANCE TO DEPENDENT RELATIVE OF EU WORKER

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has released an opinion by the Advocate General in relation to Case C-488/21, Voican v Chief Appeals Officer.

The case concerns GV, a Romanian national, and her daughter AC, a dual Romanian Irish citizen. GV joined her daughter in Ireland in 2017, on the basis that under EU law, some family members, including dependent parents, may join a mobile EU worker in the Member States in which they live and work. The applicant has been financially dependent on her daughter and has also suffered from degenerative changes in her arthritis.

In 2017, GV made an application for Disability Allowance under the Irish Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005. This was refused, and the appeal of the decision was also refused. Both decisions stated that the reason for the refusal was that GV did not have a right of residence in Ireland.

On review, it was found that GV, as a dependent direct relative of an EU citizen working in Ireland, had a right of residence, but was not entitled to social assistance payment. It was argued that under Irish law, GV must not become an unreasonable burden on the national social assistance system.

In the Advocate General’s opinion, she stated that the CJEU should embrace a broad concept of family dependency, which should extend to the material, financial, physical and/or emotional support of a family member. Therefore, even if GV would no longer need the financial support of her daughter, she might still fulfil the requirement of dependency which allowed her to join her daughter in the State. Thus, a Member State awarding financial support by way of a social assistance allowance does not terminate the dependency of the supported person.

The opinion highlighted that at the EU level, there is a legislative consensus about the acceptable balance between the interests of free movement of workers between Member States, and the concerns for the welfare systems of each Member State. The result of that consensus is that neither mobile EU workers nor their dependent direct relatives who are residing legally with them can be regarded as an unreasonable burden by that State. In accordance with the principle of equal treatment, such family members can only be regarded as a reasonable or unreasonable burden in the same way that nationals of that State could be regarded as so.

Therefore, a Member State cannot refuse access to special social assistance payments to a dependent direct relative of a mobile EU worker, on the ground that they represent an unreasonable burden on the social assistance system of that State.

Please note that the Advocate General’s opinion is not binding on the CJEU. The full judgement on this case will be given at a later date.

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 IN IRELAND STATISTICS MID-TERM REVIEW

UPCOMING CITIZENSHIP CEREMONIES

The Department of Justice has announced that the next citizenship ceremonies will take place on Monday the 19th and Tuesday the 20th of June 2023. The ceremonies are being hosted at the Killarney Convention Centre in Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Invitations will issue in due course to eligible candidates. Candidates are required to produce identity documents, for example a valid passport, on the day of the ceremony for verification purposes. At the ceremony candidates take an oath of fidelity to the nation, receive their certificate of naturalisation and become Irish citizens.

Berkeley Solicitors wishes to congratulate our clients who have recently been approved their applications for a Certificate of Naturalisation, and all who will be attending these ceremonies.

RECENT SUPREME COURT CASE UPHOLDS MINISTER’S REFUSAL TO EXTEND WORKING HOLIDAY VISA

RECENT SUPREME COURT CASE UPHOLDS MINISTER’S REFUSAL TO EXTEND WORKING HOLIDAY VISA

The Supreme Court has recently delivered a judgement in Jaimee Middelkamp v Minister for Justice and Equality and Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission [2023] IESC 2.

 

The case concerned a Canadian woman who was resident in Ireland pursuant to the Working Holiday Authorisation Scheme, which allows participants between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel to the State to study and work for a limited maximum stay of two years. Ms Middelkamp arrived in the State in 2018 under this Scheme.

 

Ms Middelkamp made an application under s.4(7) of the Immigration Act 2004 before the expiry of her permission, seeking an extended entitlement to remain in Ireland. In her application, Ms Middelkamp highlighted that her husband, a Canadian citizen, was to remain resident in the State for two more years to pursue his studies and that she did not wish to separate from him.

 

This application was refused by the Minister in January 2020, citing the interests of public policy and the common good in maintaining the integrity of the immigration system. The Minister’s decision stated that the appellant’s rights to family life under Art.8 ECHR were not affected by this decision.

 

Ms Middelkamp commenced judicial review proceedings seeking to quash the Minister’s decision, arguing that this violated her right to family life under Art.8 ECHR. The High Court granted an order of certiorari quashing the Minister’s decision. This was then appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found that Barrett J in the High Court erred in his decision and upheld the decision of the Minister to refuse an extension of Ms Middelkamp’s permission.

 

Hogan J of the Supreme Court found that the Minister’s decision did interfere with Ms Middelkamp’s right to family life under Art.8(1) ECHR, as its effect was to oblige her to separate from her husband for two years. However, he found that this interference was justified as being necessary in a democratic society. Hogan J highlighted that there was a strong public interest in ensuring that the strict terms of the Working Holiday Authorisation Scheme were adhered to, the terms of which Ms Middelkamp expressly agreed to. If the terms of such Schemes were not adhered to, the State’s capacity to operate these limited-time Schemes would be compromised.

 

Hogan J found that the Minister’s decision letter gave sufficiently detailed reasons for the refusal. He found that although the Minister was in error in stating that Ms Middelkamp’s Art.8 ECHR rights were not engaged by the decision, it was implicit in the decision that although these rights were engaged, they did not prevail against broader public policy objectives.

 

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.

HIGH COURT DECISION RELATING TO REVOCATION OF AN EU RESIDENCE CARD AND THE IRISH PASSPORT OF MINOR CHILD

HIGH COURT DECISION RELATING TO REVOCATION OF AN EU RESIDENCE CARD AND THE IRISH PASSPORT OF MINOR CHILD

HIGH COURT DECISION RELATING TO REVOCATION OF AN EU RESIDENCE CARD AND THE IRISH PASSPORT OF MINOR CHILD

Ms Justice Phelan of the High Court has delivered judgement in the case of AKS v the Minister for Justice [2023] IEHC 1, which addresses the impact of the Supreme Court judgement U.M ( a minor) v Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ors [2022] IESC 25.

The facts in the AKS case arise from the decision of the Minister to revoke a permanent residence card to the parent of an Irish citizen child on the basis of an allegation of fraud. The decision of the Minister was to find that the EU Fam Residence card was revoked in its entirety on the basis of fraudulent conduct. It was submitted by the Applicants in this case that the 2015 Regulations do not permit retrospective revocation and furthermore that a revocation of an EU Fam residence card to the parent of an Irish citizen child, does not impact that child’s right to Irish citizenship. The Applicants also argued that the review process under the 2015 Regulations does not sufficiently meet the procedural safeguards and protections required by Directive 2004/38/EC.

In following the Supreme Court judgement UM, which arose in the context of revocation of refugee status of a parent rather than an EU Fam residence card, Ms Justice Phelan held that “Neither the 1956 Act nor any other law identified to me or by me provides for the denationalisation of a citizen by birth.”

Judge Phelan further confirmed that The 2015 Regulations make no provision for the acquisition or loss of citizenship and that the 2015 Regulations, properly construed, do not provide for a power to retrospectively nullify vested citizenship rights of a non-party child,  

Judge Phelan held:

Neither Regulation 27 or 28 of the 2015 Regulations provide in express terms for a retrospective nullification of permissions which have issued on foot of false or misleading information or by reason of a marriage of convenience. Indeed the provisions of Regulations 27 and 28 are couched in the present tense both as regards a permission which “is being relied upon” and a marriage which “is” a marriage of convenience (as opposed to a post-divorce situation where reference would be made to the marriage in the past tense). It is also clear that the Regulations do not mandate the revocation of a permission that “is being relied” upon but they empower revocation by providing for a discretion (“may”) to revoke. This is in contrast with the language used in the 2006 Regulations where revocation was mandatory.

In contrasting the facts of UM and AKS, Ms Phelan concluded that in both contexts the relevant legislation did not envisage retrospective revocation where derived rights are impacted:

It seems to me that the starting point should be that the principle of prospective operation of legislation and legislative provisions should apply when interpreting the provisions of the 2015 Regulations and that it is appropriate to approach those Regulations on the basis that they are not to be presumed to permit retrospective alteration of the legal nature of past conduct and events affecting an acquired status unless clear words are used, mindful of course that the 2015 Regulations, as transposing Regulations, also require to be interpreted in a manner which gives effect to the Directive. It is clear from UM that the concept of retrospective nullification affecting acquired status while not outlawed in theory is considered by the Supreme Court to be generally unsuited to the public law context, and particularly unsuited to addressing historic immigration status and derived rights and requires a clear legal basis. 

In relation to the Minister’s power to revoke the residence permission of the applicant, with the impact of the revocation only impacting his own position, and not the position of his minor child, the Court concluded:

Contrary to the First Respondent’s asserted understanding of her powers, it does not follow from a finding of fraud or marriage of convenience that a residence permission will be automatically revoked. While it is an open question as to whether the First Respondent had been vested with a power to retrospectively revoke the Second Applicant’s EU residence rights, it is nonetheless clear that any power was discretionary and therefore fell to be exercised in a proportionate manner having due regard to affected rights and interests.

If you have been impacted by these important issues, Please contact Berkeley Solicitors for advices.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCE EXCEPTIONAL AWARD OF STAMP 4 PERMISSION TO NON-EEA CREW MEMBERS UNDER THE ATYPICAL WORKING SCHEME

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCE EXCEPTIONAL AWARD OF STAMP 4 PERMISSION TO NON-EEA CREW MEMBERS UNDER THE ATYPICAL WORKING SCHEME

On the 3rd of January, 2023, the Department of Justice announced that all those currently holding valid Stamp 1 permission to work as a non-EEA crew member in the Irish Fishing Fleet on or after 1st January 2023 will be granted Stamp 4 immigration permission.

 

This permission will be granted on an exceptional basis due to the closure of new applications for the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) for such non-EEA crew. The AWS Scheme closed following an agreement to transfer responsibility for work permissions in this sector to the Employment Permit system. The granting of Stamp 4 permissions has been announced to provide certainty and security to employees and employers in this sector during this transitional period.

 

Stamp 4 immigration permission will be granted to any individual non-EEA crew member who currently holds a valid IRP card expiring on or after 1st January 2023. Any individuals who hold a letter of permission under the AWS Scheme issued on or after the 3rd of October 2022, will also be eligible for Stamp 4, as such letters are valid for 90 days from the date of issue.

 

Eligible individuals are advised to make an appointment as soon as possible at their local GNIB Office to be granted this permission. Those attending an appointment should bring their current, in-date passport, their most recent valid in-date letter of permission under the AWS Scheme, and their current IRP card (if applicable).

 

Any crew member whose AWS permission expired on or before the 31st of December 2022, and who has not renewed their permission, will not be eligible for the granting of a Stamp 4 permission. We find this to be a very disappointing decision as many persons who have worked for many years under the AWS who may have fallen out of the system through no fault of their own are not included in this policy and will be required to continue to  make their own individual cases to the Minister for Justice for Stamp 4 permission.

 

The full announcement from the Department of Justice can be found here:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/sea-fishers-atypical-working-scheme-update/

 

Information regarding the closure of the Atypical Working Scheme can be found here:

 

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/closure-of-the-atypical-scheme-aws-for-non-eea-crew-in-the-irish-fishing-fleet/

 

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.

ISD ANNOUNCE INITIATIVE TO FACILITATE NON-EEA NATIONALS WITH PENDING RENEWAL APPLICATIONS TO TRAVEL DURING CHRISTMAS

ISD ANNOUNCE INITIATIVE TO FACILITATE NON-EEA NATIONALS WITH PENDING RENEWAL APPLICATIONS TO TRAVEL DURING CHRISTMAS

Immigration Service Delivery has recently announced an initiative to facilitate non-EEA nationals travelling during the Christmas period. The Registration Office is currently experiencing delays of 5-6 weeks in processing renewals of IRP cards. ISD has stated that after such renewals are completed, it may take a further two weeks to receive a new IRP card in the post.

 

Due to these delays, the Minister is issuing a Travel Confirmation Notice, requesting carriers to allow individuals to travel on their recently expired IRP where a renewal application for their IRP was submitted before the expiry of their current permission. This initiative has been introduced to facilitate nationals who are required to renew their current permission and who wish to travel internationally during Christmas.

 

Non-EEA nationals may use their current recently expired IRP card to enable them to travel from 9th December 2022 to 31st January 2023, provided an application for renewal was submitted in advance of the expiry date of their IRP card.

 

Those wishing to avail of the initiative must download and print the notice published by ISD, and present it along with their expired IRP card and proof of their renewal application to immigration authorities and airlines if requested to do so.

 

The ISD notice can be found here:

 

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

 

Further information on this initiative can be found here:

 

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/FAQs-Travel-Arrangement-Form-09-December-2022-to-31-January-2023.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.

SUPREME COURT DELIVER JUDGEMENT IN IMPORTANT CASE CONCERNING THE ASSESSMENT OF APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE TO REMAIN

SUPREME COURT DELIVER JUDGEMENT IN IMPORTANT CASE CONCERNING THE ASSESSMENT OF APPLICATIONS FOR LEAVE TO REMAIN

The Supreme Court have delivered a seminal judgement in the case of MK(Albania) v Minister for Justice v Minister for Justice and Equality [2022] IESC 0000.

 

The Supreme Court have issued five separate judgements in respect of this case.

 

The majority of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice ruled not to overturn the judgement of the High Court. The High court had determined in this case that a person “with a non-settled or precarious residential status cannot assert Article 8 rights, unless exceptional circumstances arise. Accordingly, a proportionality assessment does not arise”.

 

There are two dissenting judgements of Ms Justice Baker and Mr Justice Mac Menamin who ruled that they would have quashed the decision under challenge.

 

The case involved a young person from Albania who came to Ireland as a minor at the age of 16. An application for international protection in the State was submitted on his behalf. His applications for refugee status and subsidiary protection were refused. His application for leave to remain in the State was then considered and ultimately refused. The Applicant was thereafter issued with a deportation order requiring him to leave the State and remain outside the State indefinitely. The Applicant has lived in Ireland for six years, has went to school here, reached the age of majority here and lived in foster care in this State.

 

The decision to refuse him leave to remain in Ireland and to issue him with a deportation order found that given the precarious nature of his residence in Ireland, as a failed asylum seeker, Article 8 of the European Convention on Human rights was not engaged in his case.

 

The Supreme Court Justices all held that this was not in fact correct. The Court found that Article 8 ECHR was in fact engaged in the case, however the majority judgement held that in any event if the decision maker had correctly assessed the case in substance. The Court found that it would only be in the most exceptional of cases, with wholly exceptional circumstances, that an infringement of an applicant’s private life rights would outweigh a State’s legitimate aim of protecting the integrity of the immigration system.

 

Chief Justice O’Donnell in his Judgement outlined the key question at issue in this case:

 

how should the question of the impact upon the applicant’s private life of a decision of a refusal of leave to remain and/or removal from Ireland be approached and analysed under Article 8?

 

It is accepted in the Supreme Court judgements that the decision made by the Minister in this case followed the legal tests as outlined a case from the United Kingdom, R (Razgar) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2004] UK HL 27, [2004] 2 AC 368   as adopted in this State by the Court of Appeal case of C.I. & Ors. v. The Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform [2015] IECA 192, [2015] 3 I.R. 385.

 

Mr Justice O’Donnell confirmed that this was not the correct approach in these cases. The approach in those cases would appear to be that exceptional circumstances need to arise before Article 8 is engaged. The Supreme Court found this to be incorrect, it should have been held that Article 8 is engaged (even if the applicant’s permission is “precarious”) and the decision maker should then have assessed whether the interference with the rights was proportionate to the legitimate aim being pursued. There is no question of the rights protected by Article 8 being breached in this case – the only thing in issue is the manner in which that conclusion should have been reached.

 

The Court did state that in cases of “settled migrants” whose permission in the State could not be deemed precarious, there may be more possibility that an applicant’s Article 8 rights might more readily outweighed by the legitimate interests of the State.

 

Mr Justice O’Donnell held:

 

The point has been reached where I think it should be recognised that it is in the nature of any decision which refuses leave to remain in the country and renders future residence unlawful and perhaps, even more clearly, where the decision is one for forced removal, that such a decision is normally likely to have an impact of such gravity on an individual who has been living lawfully in Ireland for any appreciable time to engage the operation of Article 8. This is so even if that residence is precarious on the basis of a permission that is necessarily temporary and limited and where the decision to refuse leave to remain, or indeed to deport, is no more than the enforcement and application of the limitation of that permission or its termination in accordance with its terms. To that extent, I agree that the applicant’s analysis is correct and, accepting for the moment the Razgar test as a template for the Minister’s decision in this case, the applicant’s case ought to have been assessed under the fifth limb of the test, that is, whether such interference was proportionate to the legitimate public ends sought to be achieved.

 

The Court held clarified that that while accepting the decision is invalid, I would refrain from ordering certiorari, on the grounds that the outcome would inevitably be the same. Instead for the reasons I have tried to set out, I do not consider that the decision of the Minister was invalid.

 

The Court held that there was no obligation on decision makers to assess applications in a particular format and what was important is that rights are “respected and not breached” and in compliance with The European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003.

 

In Mr Justice Hogan’s judgement the Court addresses the query as to whether the applicant could invoke Constitutional rights in these proceedings, namely Article 40.3 privacy and Article 40.6 associational rights:

 

It follows, therefore, that, based on the NHV analysis, non-nationals enjoy the protections afforded by Article 40.3 and Article 40.6.1.iii (and the other relevant constitutional provisions) in respect of these privacy and associational rights. To that extent, therefore, non-nationals enjoy (in principle, at any rate) a combination of privacy, associational and autonomy-style constitutional rights which correspond to the omnibus description of the right to a private life contained in Article 8 ECHR.

 

The other judgements outline this case was not the appropriate case to consider Constitutional rights as they interact with Article ECHR rights.

 

Ms Justice O’Malley agrees with the majority judgment in her judgement.

 

Mr Justice Mac Menamin in his dissenting judgment respectfully disagrees with the majority and finds that the question of methodology cannot be separated from the substance of the decision.

 

In concluding that he would quash the Minister’s decision Mr Justice Mac Menamin held the decision-making process in this case led to a test which commenced by asking whether Article 8 is engaged, which was answered by considering the gravity of the consequences, rather than whether the privacy and family right actually arose for consideration on the facts.

 

Mr Justice Mac Menamin concludes:

 

There is, at the heart of this appeal, a fundamental question of legal principle concerning rights and remedies. I respectfully, therefore, dissent from the judgment of the majority as to the absence of any remedy. In the first instance, I would have granted the appellant an order of certiorari of the Minister’s orders in this case. But, failing that, I would, alternatively, have granted a declaration that, by virtue of the respondent’s breach of his rights under Articles 8 and 13 of the ECHR, the appellant was entitled to a declaration that the respondent had breached her statutory duty under s.3(1() of the 2003 Act. In my view, such a conclusion must follow from the application of the soundest of all legal principles, that is the protection of the rule of law

 

In her dissenting judgement. Ms Justice Baker concurs with Mr Justice Mac Menamin and finds:

 

“Mac Menamin J. notes, that there are few cases where the interests of a precarious unsettled migrant with a personal family or private life could outweigh the significant interests of the State.”

 

Ms Justice Baker holds that the decision refusing the applicant leave to remain should have been quashed and re assessed by the Minister on the basis that:

 

“That the process be correct, and be seen to have been correctly applied, is not a mere formality…

…the essence of administrative law is to ensure that the process followed by an administrative decision maker were correct, not because due process is an end in itself, 4 but because a person who invokes a process is entitled to understand that process, to know that it was properly applied, and as a result to be in a position to know that the decision maker acted lawfully.”

 

This important Judgement will undoubtedly have an impact on how applications for leave to remain are to be considered by the Minister in Ireland from now on. It can no longer be the case that an applicant needs to show exceptional circumstances prior to being entitled to a proportionality assessment of any infringement of their private and family life rights under Article 8 ECHR.

 

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 JUDGEMENT- REFUSAL OF TRAVEL VISA FOR EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDER

RECENT HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT – REFUSAL OF TRAVEL VISA FOR EMPLOYMENT PERMIT HOLDER

Ms Justice Bolger of the High Court has recently delivered a judgement in the case of S v Minister for Justice [2022] IEHC 578.

 

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 to challenge the Minister’s decision, seeking an order of certiorari to quash the decision. Ms Justice Bolger found for the applicant and granted the order quashing the decision.

 

The Minister refused the visa application on the basis that there was insufficient documentation submitted in support of the application. The Minister stated that there were inconsistencies and contradictions in the information supplied. Lastly, the Minister stated that the visa sought was for a specific purpose and duration, and the applicant had not satisfied the visa officer that such conditions would be observed. The Minister highlighted that the applicant had not provided sufficient evidence that they had the appropriate skills, knowledge, or experience for taking up the employment position in Ireland.

 

The appeal was also refused on the basis that the applicant had not addressed the refusal reasons listed in the refusal letter. The Minister relied on evidence from a telephone interview with the applicant in which he was asked what type of food he would be cooking, to which he replied, “Indian breads.” The applicant was then asked about cooking other dishes such as chicken tikka and he confirmed that this was not part of his job as a tandoori chef but that he had a basic knowledge of this type of cooking.

 

The Court found that the appeals decision did not state what documentation was missing from the applicant’s application, nor was missing documentation identified during the application or appeal process. The Minister’s deponent swore an affidavit in the proceedings which took issue with the applicant’s failure to submit a supplementary form that was required by the Minister. It was further highlighted that payslips, tax forms and evidence of experience or qualifications were missing, however this was raised for the first time after judicial review proceedings were initiated.

 

The Court found that it was unreasonable for the decision maker to dismiss the applicant’s two work references because of an absence of a website. The decision maker had claimed the lack of a website meant they were unable to check the references, when one written reference may have included a website and both references included mobile numbers which were not checked by the Minister.

 

Regarding the alleged inconsistencies in the application, the Court found that it was unclear from the appeal decision what these inconsistencies were. The decision maker had concluded based off the interview that the applicant could not provide detailed recipes for food which he would be required to cook in Ireland. The Court found that this was not a reasonable conclusion for the decision maker to reach, as the applicant’s work permit made it clear that his job was to make specialty tandoori bread, which the employer was satisfied the applicant had sufficient experience in. The applicant never claimed he would be required to cook chicken tikka or chicken dishes in Ireland and there was therefore no need to question him about his experience in this regard.

 

The Court found that a work permit does not constitute prima facie evidence that the applicant has the skills and experience required, to the point that the Minister for Justice cannot look behind the grant of the permit or require an applicant for a visa to show they are qualified to do the job for which they were granted the permit, in the assessment of the visa application to enter Ireland. However, the Court found that it also cannot simply be ignored.

 

The Court further found that there were no reasons or explanations given for the Minister’s decision that the applicant had not satisfied the visa officer that the conditions of the visa would be observed. The Court found that the reasons set out in the appeal decision were very brief. Ms Justice Bolger highlighted that the reasons set out in the decision fell well short of what is required.

 

This case raises the interesting 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 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 again subjected to a review by the Minister for Justice in their visa application.

 

It is the Minister for Justice who has responsibility for the issuance of visas and immigration permissions.  In our experience the Minister for Justice does not limit her assessment of the 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.

 

It is a very unfortunate and regrettable position for a person who has been successful in obtaining an employment permit to come and work in Ireland to then be refused entry to the State to take up that employment due to concerns raised by visa officers as to the applicant’s suitability for an employment position.

 

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 IN IRELAND STATISTICS MID-TERM REVIEW

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.