Connecticut, US

Jul 07 2020

New Online System for Residence Card Renewal for Dublin Residents

Ireland

At a Glance

  • Starting July 20, 2020, all non-European Economic Area nationals residing in Dublin will be able to renew their Residence Cards (IRP cards) online, instead of having to appear at the Dublin Burgh Quay Registration Office by appointment.
  • Applicants will still need to mail their original passports to the authorities after completing the online process. It is still unclear how long applicants will need to wait for their passports to be returned (with the renewed card), so travel dates might be impacted.
  • The Dublin Burgh Quay Registration Office announced that it will re-open for initial registrations on July 20, 2020, after having been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Between July 7 and 20, 2020, online applications can be made by those who urgently need to travel and require an IRP card to re-enter Ireland.
  • All non-residents who reside outside of Dublin will still be required to renew their IRP cards in person at their local Garda Station or Immigration Office; however, this type of registration remains suspended until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The situation

Starting July 20, 2020 (or July 7 for individuals with urgent travel needs), the Irish government is opening the online Residence Card (IRP card) renewal process to all non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals residing in Dublin and their dependents residing in Dublin. This process was previously only available to students. These applicants will no longer need to schedule an appointment and appear at the Dublin Burgh Quay Registration Office, which was a very lengthy process.  

A closer look

  • Initial IRP card applications. Initial registrations must still be conducted in person during which the applicant submits their biometrics. Authorities will contact foreign nationals whose initial appointment was cancelled in March due to COVID-19 to schedule a new appointment.
  • IRP card renewals. The IRP renewal application (including the payment of the government fee) is completed through an online portal. After using the online system, applicants must mail their original passport to the Burgh Quay Registration Office for stamping. The government will then mail the stamped passport and new IRP card to the applicant.
  • When to apply. Applications can only be made in the one month immediately preceding the expiration of the current IRP card.
  • Exceptions. Family members of EU citizens who hold an EUFAM card will still need to submit renewal or permanent residence applications under a different process and must have these applications approved prior to undertaking the IRP card renewal process.
  • Reopening of offices. The Dublin Burgh Quay Registration Office also announced that it will re-open their offices for initial registrations on July 20, 2020, after having been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Notably, between July 7 and 20, 2020, online applications can be made by those who urgently need to travel and require an IRP card to re-enter Ireland.

 

Impact

  • Benefit to renewal applicants. This online system will reduce the administrative burdens of renewing the IRP for non-EEA employees currently residing in Dublin and their family members in Dublin, and as a consequence, will benefit companies in the Dublin area.
  • Processing time. It is still unclear how long applicants will need to wait for their passports to be returned (with the renewed card), so travel dates might be impacted. For non-EEA students, for whom this process was already online, authorities are aiming to return passports (with the issued IRP card) 15 days after receipt, "subject to their workload".
  • Low impact for companies outside Dublin. Employees of companies outside Dublin must still apply for their IRP in their place of residence, and many of these locations are still closed due to COVID-19. Applicants should contact their local office or Garda station to confirm when they will reopen for IRP card renewals.

 

Background

  • Previous IRP card process. The Irish authorities previously required all non-EEA nationals holding residence in Dublin to attend an appointment to obtain an IRP card. This applied to both initial registrations and renewals. This was a lengthy process with significant wait times and very limited appointment availability. 
  • Program pilot. This new online IRP card renewal system was piloted in 2019 for non-EEA students in Ireland.
  • Reminders on other requirements. All relevant supporting documentation must be valid at the time of submission (e.g., passport, employment permit, proof of address, marriage certificate). Copies of these documents can be submitted on the online portal.
  • Requests for further information. It remains at the Immigration Officer’s discretion to request further documentation in relation to any application.

 

Looking ahead

This new online renewal process in Dublin is a further example of the Irish authorities’ continued efforts to streamline immigration processes and enhance user experience. This has been evidenced over the last two years, and in particular, during the COVID-19 crisis, where swift contingency measures were put in place to ensure continuity of the immigration system and minimize disruption. 

Fragomen will report on development with the new system for registrations for individuals outside of Dublin.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].