Immigration Service Delivery have published an updated set of frequently asked questions in relation to the delivery of immigration services during the ongoing Covid -19 crisis on 15th April 2020.
This is a comprehensive document.
In relation to visa applications it is confirmed that certain categories of emergency/ priority visa applications will be accepted for processing.
Advice is given that persons may be advised to contact their relevant Irish Embassy/ Consulate or the visa office in Dublin for guidance on submission of their application.
It is expected that for those advised to contact their Embassy/Consulate, this is likely to cause practical difficulties and issues for applicants. Such offices are currently closed, working remotely or working at a reduced capacity. VFS Global services also remain closed. Our office intends to work closely with our clients on a case by case basis to ensure that the submission of their visa application is facilitated.
Some clarity has been provided in relation to visa appeals, whereby it is confirmed that visa appeals that fall within the emergency/ priority cases will continue to be processed.
However, it is not stated that the visa office is working at a reduced capacity. Visa refusals will continue to be issued by letter. Visa approvals will continue to be issued but the physical visa sticker will be inserted at a later date when it is safe to do so.
Our office has received many queries from clients whose family members have been issued with entry visas to the State but have been unable to travel to and enter Ireland due to current travel restrictions. The ISD FAQs have stated that such persons will not receive an extension of their visa and will be required to apply for a new visa application.
This is very concerning to our clients who have already in many cases been through a lengthy and very difficult visa process.
The document does give some reassurance to those who are required to access Covid-19 emergency payment. The EUTR have indicated that access to a COVID-19 Pandemic Payment should not jeopardise the validity of a family members EU FAM Residence card.
The citizenship unit have also indicated that access to such a payment will not be unduly held against a person in a subsequent application for naturalisation.
The citizenship unit are continuing to accept naturalisation applications, but have requested that no original documents or passports be sent to them and have advised persons not to make trips to access documents or in respect of their naturalisation application.
The full document can be accessed here:
The EUTR Section of the INIS have also published further guidance on 15th April 2020 in respect of new EUTR applications, as a temporary measure between now and the 20th May 2020, EU Treaty Rights and Domestic applications can be submitted by email together with scanned copies of supporting documentation. EU Treaty Rights will require the original application to be submitted by post in due course.
Further updates should also be published on INIS Webpage:
If you are affected by any of these issues we look forward to hearing from you. Please feel free to contact the office to discuss your case.