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Expiring Immigration permissions get automatic extension
2015 queues for the Immigration Bureau on Dublin’s Burgh Quay Pic: RollingNews.ie

23 Mar 2020 / Ireland Print

Expiring immigration permissions get extension

Immigration permissions due to expire between 20 March and 20 May 2020, will be automatically extended for two months, Justice minister Charlie Flanagan has said. 

The Registration Office in Burgh Quay in Dublin will close for the coming weeks, with immediate effect.

Anyone with an appointment scheduled at Burgh Quay in the interim, will be contacted directly by Immigration Service Delivery. 


This is part of the Department’s emergency response to COVID-19.

The primary reason for closing the Registration Office at Burgh Quay is due to the high footfall and challenges in maintaining social distancing.

To ensure consistency across the system, these new measures will also apply to immigration registrations and renewals that take place outside of Dublin in garda stations, by local immigration officers. 

Crucial time

This will also free up members of An Garda Síochána (AGS) for other operational duties at this crucial time.

Announcing the new temporary arrangements, Minister Charlie Flanagan addressed those affected directly, saying:

“I want to assure people whose immigration permissions are due to expire shortly that your legal status in the country will be maintained.


"If your immigration or international protection permission will expire between 20 March-20 May, I am granting you an automatic renewal for two months. This renewal is on the same basis as your existing permission and the same conditions will continue to apply.

"We are taking this step at this extraordinary time to ensure your safety.

"High-demand public offices make applying social distancing more difficult. We also want to ensure that you are not undertaking any non-essential travel to attend appointments at this time. 

"This is an exceptional measure in response to exceptional circumstances. If this decision was not made there is a danger that you could become unlawful in the country through no fault of your own. I am acting now to ensure this does not happen.”

Minister Flanagan urged everyone to closely follow HSE guidance and to consult the HSE website for up to date information on protecting themselves, their families and the wider community.


The new measures will apply to three primary categories of persons whose permissions are due to expire between 20 March-20 May as follows.

1.      Renewal of existing permissions / registrations

Those who hold a current valid permission.

2.      Awaiting first registration

Those granted permission to land at a port of entry on condition they register at Burgh Quay or their local AGS registration office within three months but who have yet to do so. 

3.      Short-stay visas

Those in the country on foot of a short-stay visa and who have been granted permission to remain for less than three months who may be unable to leave the State and return home due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The range of permissions encompassed under these provisions is broad and further information is also available. 


Renewals are on the same basis as existing permissions and the same conditions will continue to apply.

For existing permissions granted under the EU Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC), the automatic renewal is subject to the requirement that the person is continuing to comply with the requirements of the Directive.

Approximately 450 registration appointments are issued for the office in Burgh Quay each day.


Typically, immigration permissions are renewed on an annual basis and then required to be registered.

In 2019, Immigration Service Delivery in the Department of Justice and Equality registered over 100,000 permissions/registrations and Registration offices in other Districts where the District Officer is the Registration Officer processed over 85,000 registrations/renewals.

This is an ongoing requirement and in the event of an inability to renew existing valid immigration permissions, over 2,000 people per week could find themselves without a lawful permission to remain in the State.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland