Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (435)

Paul Murphy

Question:

435. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when INIS registration appointments which have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis will be rescheduled. [5633/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Due to COVID-19, on 20 March 2020, I announced that immigration permissions, due to expire between that date and 20 May 2020, were automatically extended for two months on the same basis as the existing permission and with the same conditions attached.  If the current permission allowed a person to work, then they could continue to do so on foot of the two month renewal, without the need to register this renewal.

As a result of the continued uncertainties caused by the pandemic, last week (13 May), I announced a further two month extension for anyone whose permission was due to expire between 20 May 2020 and 20 July 2020. Again, this is on the same basis as the existing permission and with the same conditions attached. In the case of student permissions for international English language students, the person will be required to re-enrol in an on-line course of study to adhere to the conditions of their permission. My officials have engaged with MEI (Marketing English in Ireland), the representative body for the majority of language schools in Ireland. They have confirmed that most colleges are now offering on-line courses, and students should contact their college directly to make any necessary arrangements.

The requirement to register an immigration permission,  in person, will not arise until the Registration Office Burgh Quay (and other registration offices) re-opens or alternative arrangements are put in place.  They will only reopen when it is safe to do so, in line with Government’s Roadmap. As the Deputy will appreciate, high-demand public offices make applying social and physical distancing more difficult. 

When the Registration Office reopens, priority will be given to those seeking to register for the first time.  Those for first time registration who had appointments cancelled will have their appointments rescheduled automatically.  Other appointments will be made available exclusively for other first time applicants.

Additionally, my Department is considering alternative arrangements for renewal of registrations and priority will be given initially to those whose Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card has expired.

Further updates will be provided on the Immigration Service website when available, and I would encourage the Deputy to view our updates on the Immigration Service website at:

http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/COVID-19-updates-and-announcements

 A detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is available on this website on the impact of COVID-19 on immigration and international protection. This document is regularly updated.