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Certificate in Immigration Law and Practice

Start Date
Thursday 3 November 2022 at 6:00 PM
2,500-word written assignment (80%) and continuous assessment (20% of the overall grade)
Delivery Method
Live online lectures Thursdays 6pm to 9pm, with live workshops on occasional Saturdays. Also available to view on-demand
CPD Hours
The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to this course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions.  For further information and the booklet, see CPD scheme.
Course Leader
Patricia Harvey, Barrister, Course Leader: P.Harvey@LawSociety.ie.
This item is not available to book online

The course has commenced but we are still accepting late applications. Please contact us if you wish to apply.

Application information

The closing date for applications for this course is Thursday 20 October 2022. We are happy to announce that the deadline has been extended. Late applications are accepted but confirmation of course registration may take a number of days as the deadline has passed. Thank you for bearing with us. 

Solicitors and Trainees

To pay online click on the 'Register Now' button. For all other methods of payment including, draft, cheque and EFT please see our methods of payment .

Other Professionals

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified professionals. Your application must be approved before you can formally register on the course. To apply please email the following documents to diplomateam@lawsociety.ie :

  1. A completed application form (see below)
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae
  3. A short cover letter setting out your relevant experience

Please note, for non-members this course is subject to a supplemental fee of €100 bringing the total course fee to €1,750. No fees are required prior to approval.


If you are interested in applying for a future offering of the course please register for our Interested List . 

Further information on this course including course structure, module scheme, faculty and workshop dates are set out below. Clicking on the links will bring you directly to that section or simply scroll through to read all the content. 

Programme objectives

On completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the various visa and stamp classes available in Ireland;
  • Proactively outline effective immigration solutions for clients;
  • Display an ability to properly complete and lodge visa applications and reviews on behalf of clients;
  • Recognise situations that may result in deportation, removal, and repatriation of individuals to the detriment of clients;
  • Assess immigration risks;
  • Choose the best alternative visa and stamp options;
  • Apply the principles of asylum, subsidiary protection, and forced migration to case scenarios;
  • Evaluate the impact of changes to European Union rights on immigrants;
  • Summarise the impact of changes to immigration policy and law on business.

    Programme structure and approach to learning

    This certificate will offer an in-depth analysis of immigration law and its application in Ireland. The central pieces of legislation covered by the course include the Aliens Acts, the Immigration Acts, the Refugee Act 1996, the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000, the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts, the International Protection Act 2015, and the numerous statutory instruments covering immigration and citizenship. The course also scrutinises the manner in which this legislation has been interpreted over the years by the courts, the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and by Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) together with the impact of Brexit.

    The course examines:
    • The legal, social and political context of immigration to Ireland,
    • The various visa and stamp categories that permit entry to and residence in the State, including employment and business visas,
    • Issues associated with asylum, subsidiary protection, and forced migration,
    • Issues relating to deportation, removal, and repatriation.

    Participants will be guided through the practical aspects of the law by experienced legal practitioners, members of the public sector, and high-ranking representatives of international bodies, non-governmental organisations, and large multinationals. 


    The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

    Module 1: Legal, social and political context

    • Theories of migration and overview of the history of migration,
    • International migration and social justice issues,
    • International legal framework (UN, ECHR, EU, other conventions),
    • Legal framework in Ireland (effecting provisions and other laws),
    • Social welfare and domestic violence.

    Module 2: Entering, residing and remaining in the State

    • Responsible state institutions and departments,
    • Entering: non-visa-required nationals and visa-required nationals; visa application process, including visas for students, workers, family members; preclearance application scheme,
    • Residing: registering permission; applications to reside; permanent residence,
    • Permission to remain: change of status application; humanitarian leave to remain; de facto partner application; Irish-born child application,
    • Citizenship: by birth (including foreign birth); by naturalisation.

    Module 3: Asylum, subsidiary protection, and forced migration (including victims of trafficking)

    • International protection and ‘subsidiary protection’ in Irish and EU law,
    • Credibility assessment in international protection claims,
    • Relocation and resettlement; direct provision entitlements; treatment of unaccompanied minors; family reunification,
    • The Dublin Regulation.

    Module 4: Corporate immigration

    • Employment permits system,
    • Immigrant investor schemes,
    • Business visas and atypical working scheme.

    Module 5: Courts and litigation

    • Judicial review and injunctions in asylum and immigration matters,
    • Procedure, relevant documents, stamp duty, time limits, and practice directions,
    • Deportation, removal, and repatriation,
    • Trafficking, people smuggling, and immigration fraud,
    • The perspective of the Garda National Immigration Bureau.


    Workshops are a key feature of this course. These are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case-study problems and analysis, with an emphasis on the application of the law to common scenarios encountered in practice. 

    1Taking instructions from a client for a family reunification application 
    Putting together an application for asylum
    The perspective of the International Protections Appeal Tribunal
    14 January 202310:00am - 3:00pm
    2Corporate immigration 
    Current debates in immigration law including discussion on how external factors can affect Irish immigration law and practice
    28 January 202310:00am - 3:00pm
    3Final questions and answers panel session with experts
    4 February 202310:00am - 3:00pm


    2,500-word written assignment (80%) and continuous assessment (20% of the overall grade).

    Who should attend?

    The Certificate in Immigration Law and Practice is primarily aimed at lawyers working in the area; however, it will also appeal to the following:
    • Professionals working in non-governmental organisations, international bodies, and statutory bodies with an immigration remit,
    • Human resource professionals working in multinational companies,
    • Professionals working in corporate migration,
    • Public service employees who work in the area of asylum and immigration, and
    • Individuals who have an interest in Irish immigration law.
    We welcome applications from others who are suitably qualified. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €100.


    Lecturers and tutors are drawn from lawyers, practitioners, and others with domain expertise in the field of asylum, immigration, and human rights law. 

    Previous lecturers have included:

    • Mary Henderson, Immigrant Council of Ireland,
    • Patricia Brazil BL,
    • Catherine Cosgrave, Immigrant Council of Ireland,
    • Aileen Gittens, McGrath McGrane,
    • Julie O’Donnell, Conor Ó Briain Solicitors,
    • Hilkka Becker, chairperson at the International Protection Appeals Tribunal,
    • Ángel Bello Cortés, Fragomen,
    • Karen Berkeley, Berkeley Solicitors,
    • Sinead Lucey, FLAC,
    • Albert Llussá i Torra, Daly Lynch Crowe Morris,
    • Gerard McGrath, McGrath McGrane,
    • Aoife McMahon BL,
    • Katie Mannion, Irish Refugee Council,
    • Maria Hennessy, Assistant Protection Officer, UNHCR,
    • John Stanley BL,
    • Aileen Gittens, McGrath McGrane,
    • Anthony Hanrahan BL,
    • Sarah MacDonald, CSSO,
    • Stephen Kirwan, KOD Lyons,
    • Emmet Whelan, ByrneWallace LLP,
    • David Conlan Smyth SC,
    • Kenneth Ruane, An Garda Síochána.


    We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. Please note that the limit for e-learning has been removed for the 2022 CPD cycle. For further information, visit the CPD scheme and download the CPD booklet. 

    The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2022. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year. 


    Patricia Harvey, Barrister, Course Leader: P.Harvey@LawSociety.ie .

    *Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in these pages is accurate and up to date. However timetables and course content are subject to change and date and time changes may occur due to factors beyond our control.

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    This item is not available to book online