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VISA DECISIONS AND WAITING TIMES

For most visas, the Department indicates that you can expect a decision within eight weeks after it was received by the Irish Visa Office, Embassy or Consulate you sent it to. However, in the experience of our office, most visa applicants experience much long processing periods on their visa applications.

According to information on the INIS website, as of July 3rd 2018, business and employment visa applications received by the 11th of June 2018 are currently being reviewed.

Join family applications received by the INIS offices on the 7th of February 2018 are currently being reviewed.

According to the INIS website, applications which take longer than average if you have not submitted the necessary supporting documentation, your supporting documentation needs to be verified, because of personal circumstances, for example if you have a criminal conviction. Processing times can change during the year, for example before holiday periods.

Also, according to the INIS website, if the sponsor for the application in Ireland is an Irish citizen they aim to process your application within 6 months after they have receive all the necessary documentations. If the sponsor  in Ireland is entitled to immediate family reunification they also aim to process the application within 6 months after they receive all your necessary documents. They indicate that all other sponsors applications are aimed to be processed within 12 months after receiving all the necessary documentations.

In the experience of Berkeley Solicitors, some applications for a Join Family visa take much longer than the five month period suggested on the INIS website.

Depending on which Embassy the application is being processed, many join family visa applications take up to one year or longer.

We are aware of a number of visa applicants who have waiting over two years on their first instance decision, and have issued court proceedings due to the delay.

At Berkeley Solicitors, we do our best to assist our clients through this lengthy visa application process, and where necessary we can advise on issuing proceedings due to unreasonable delay.

IRELAND’S POPULATION GROWTH FIVE TIMES EU AVERAGE

According to new figures Ireland’s population growth was more than five times the EU average in 2017. The number of residents in total in the Republic of Ireland rose by 53,900 last year to nearly 4.84 million, an increase of 1.1%. The EU average is a staggering 0.2% in comparison. Ireland had the fourth highest rate of population growth within the EU in the year 2017. However, Ireland holds the distinct title of having the highest birth rate of any EU member state with 12.9 births per 1,000 population.

The only other countries to have experienced higher and more drastic rates of population growth are Malta, Luxembourg and Sweden. A factor contributing to the increase in figures for these countries comes from the impact of immigration in those countries. With this in mind Ireland had the highest rate of natural increase. This meaning there was an excess of births over deaths in Ireland in 2017. This is not the case for 13 Eu member states such as Germany, Italy, Spain and Finland where the death rates outweigh the birth rates. The EU’s overall natural population falling.

Ireland has the youngest population of all Europeans as well as retaining its position as having the lowest death rate in the EU. The findings show with 6.3 deaths per 1,000 population compared to the average of 10.3 deaths per 1,000 in the year 2017. Overall the population of the EU increased in 2017 from 511.5 million to 512.6 million, an increase of 0.2%. The CSO has released its prediction that Ireland’s population will continue to grow until 2051 when it will reach almost 6.7 million.

Berkeley Solicitors

AMENDMENTS TO THE POLICY ON VISA APPLICATIONS FROM LIBYAN NATIONALS

In 2014 Ireland’s Ministry of Justice implemented restrictions on considerations of Irish visa applications for Libyan nationals. Libyan nationals seeking to come to Ireland were rejected based solely on their Libyan nationality, even when fitting the criteria to enter Ireland being from any other country. The restrictions were once again reviewed in 2017 and were defended by the Ministry of Justice and were left unchanged. Former Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald said she took into account the ‘ongoing security situation in Libya’ and this is true even today.

While certain restrictions on consideration of Irish visa applications have been in place since August of 2014 following a review the new Minister for Justice and Equality decided to extend the categories of applicants who can be considered. This is a massive victory for Libyan nationals and will greatly impact some of our clients here at Berkeley solicitors. The Minister for Justice and Equality has set out distinct categories which will be available for consideration. While there are 7 categories listed only 3 will be relevant to most of our clients here at Berkeley solicitors.

The first category allows individuals from Libya to enter the country if they are studying or training. Applications intended for all forms of study or training will be subject to consideration. The second category is regarding visa applications from immediate family members of those who are Irish citizens, long term Irish residents, and citizens of the EU. Under this category immediate family members consist of spouses or partners, parents and dependent children. The third and final category relating to our clients are visa applications supported by Irish Government Departments and State Agencies. These applications will be considered with evidence of sponsorship.

The change regarding Libyan visa applications has been met with positive feedback from many and has been highly praised for being a lot less discriminatory. Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan, stated ‘an appropriate balance must be struck between State security and individual applicants who wish to come here’ and with the blanket ban now lifted they may have found it. Applicants who wish to apply for a visa in Ireland in Libya have a specific set of instructions to follow in order to gain access to Ireland. There are important notes set out by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in order for the visa application to have a fair consideration. All of the information regarding Libyan visa applications can be accessed on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Lifting the restrictions against Libyans entering Ireland allows for families to be reunited with loved ones and gives the people of both nations a choice.

We here at Berkeley solicitors welcome the change as we believe it restores rights under the European Convention of Human Rights and our own Constitution and is non-discriminatory.

Berkeley Solicitors