Tag Archive for: passport

NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The announcement can be found here:

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

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

 

 

 

 

UPDATE ON UKRAINIAN NATIONALS TRAVELLING TO IRELAND

UPDATE ON UKRAINIAN NATIONALS TRAVELLING TO IRELAND

The Department of Justice recently announced that from 5th June 2024, temporary measures which allowed Ukrainian nationals to travel to Ireland without a valid biometric passport ceased to be in effect. In accordance with Section 4 of the Immigration Act 2004, all third country nationals, including Ukrainians, must possess a valid biometric passport.

Ireland temporarily suspended the requirement for a biometric passport for Ukrainian nationals in 2022 as part of a wide-ranging emergency response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Under this suspension, Ukrainian nationals seeking to enter the State could rely upon alternative documentation as proof of their nationality including expired biometric passports or internal passports.

This temporary suspension supported a swift response to the crisis and ensured that those who could not access or renew their travel documents could still flee to safety. However, as the situation has evolved since the outbreak of the war, the Department of Justice is seeking to move to a more sustainable response.

This announcement does not impact the temporary protection status of Ukrainian nationals already in Ireland if they do not have a valid biometric passport. However, it is important for Ukrainian nationals to be aware of this requirement if making any plans to temporarily leave the country as they will require a valid biometric passport to re-enter Ireland.

The full announcement can be found here:

Important Information for Ukrainian nationals – Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)

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.

REFUSAL OF NATURALISATION APPLICATION ON GOOD CHARACTER GROUNDS OVERTURNED BY HIGH COURT

REFUSAL OF NATURALISATION APPLICATION ON GOOD CHARACTER GROUNDS OVERTURNED BY HIGH COURT

Mr Justice Garrett Simons of the High Court has recently delivered a judgement in the case of A.J.A v Minister for Justice [2022] IEHC 162 JR.

The case concerned a refusal of an application for naturalisation.

The application was refused on the grounds that the Applicant did not meet the good character criterion under Section 15(1)(b) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956. The Applicant was found to have submitted a potentially false Somali passport with her application.

The Applicant subsequently issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court to challenge the decision to refuse her application for a certificate of naturalisation. This was the second set of judicial review proceedings issued by the Applicant in respect of her application for naturalisation. The Applicant had issued judicial review proceedings in 2021 challenging the delay in processing her application. These proceedings were struck out of the High Court in January 2022, following the issuance of a decision on the Applicant’s application in December 2021.

The primary issue that was considered in the second set of judicial review proceedings was whether fair procedures had been observed in the Minister’s decision-making process.

The Applicant submitted her application for naturalisation on the 29th May 2017. On the 6th November 2017, the Applicant’s solicitors submitted a letter to the Minister that highlighted the Applicant’s concern as to the genuineness of the passport that she had submitted with her application. On the 10th May 2018, the Applicant’s solicitors sent a further letter to outline attempts made by the Applicant to have a new Somali passport issued. The Respondent then sent a letter in response, confirming that a thorough investigation was required as to the genuineness of the Applicant’s passport.  It was the Applicant herself who proactively contacted the Minister in relation to this issue and confirmed that she had always acted in good faith in respect of her application for a passport and in respect of her application for naturalisation.

The Applicant was ultimately successful in the High Court on the grounds that the Minister’s decision did not consider the Applicant’s explanation nor the exculpatory factors at issue.

Mr Justice Garrett Simons found that submission of the Minister did not meet the prescribed standard of fair procedures as it failed to acknowledge the explanations offered by the Applicant in respect of her passport. Ms Justice Garrett Simons found that, “The omission from the submission/recommendation of an accurate record of the explanation and exculpatory factors is fatal to the validity of the decision made.” The Court further found that the Minister’s decision did not meet the legal test for the adequacy of reasons.

The Court acknowledged that the submission of a false passport is an extremely serious issue and could of course legitimately give rise to a decision to refuse an application for Irish citizenship by way of naturalisation. The Court found that it was the manner in which the decision was made that was problematic, it was not clear whether the Applicant’s explanation that due to the circumstances in Somalia and the lack of Government, she could not confirm if her passport was valid or not,  had been provided to the Minister when the decision to refuse was made. The Court held that “The failure of the respondent in the present case to take the basic step of identifying the precise documents which had been submitted to the ultimate decision-maker is regrettable”.

The Minister of Justice’s decision to refuse the Applicant’s naturalisation application was quashed. The Court held:

 

  1. The submission/recommendation in the present case failed to meet the prescribed standard of fair procedures. The principal deficiency is that the submission/recommendation fails to record, even in the most cursory form, the explanations offered by the Applicant, through her solicitors, for the submission of the false passport. There is no reference to the practical difficulties asserted by the Applicant in obtaining a passport from Somalia given what is said to be the absence of a functioning central government there. Nor is there any reference to the efforts made by the Applicant to travel to the Somali Embassy in Belgium for the purpose of obtaining a passport. Although these events occurred after the submission of the false passport, they are, 13 arguably, indicative of the practical difficulties which a Somalia national, who has been long-term resident in the Irish State, faces in obtaining a passport from that country

The full judgement 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.