Ireland (May 24, 2021) – COVID-19 Visa processing resumes for additional priority categories


What is the change?

The Minister for Justice has announced that visa processing has resumed for applications that fall under the following categories: essential family reunification and Irish employment permit holders with essential business/employment reasons.

Key points:

  • Implementation time frame: The changes are set to take effect May 20, 2021
  • Who is affected: Those who are entry visa required nationals and seeking to apply for an entry visa on the grounds of family reunification or employment.
  • Next steps: Employers should update their employees who need to apply for an entry visa, as they may now be in a position to do so. Employers and employees should note that all COVID-19 restrictions and policies must be adhered to once an individual has secured their permission to enter Ireland.

The Priority/Emergency cases that will continue to be accepted and processed include the following:

  • People travelling for business/employment purposes and granted an employment permit by Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment to meet an enterprise’s key business;
  • Patients travelling for imperative medical reasons;
  • Transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting;
  • Pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis and Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study;
  • Join Family applications;
  • Preclearance applications from De Facto Partner of an Irish National, De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland;
  • Persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons;
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive;
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and police officers, and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
  • Passengers in transit;
  • Seafarers;
  • Journalists, when performing their duties.

Analysis & Comments:

Deloitte welcomes this announcement as it will allow for improved business continuity and the reunion of family members after extended periods away from one another.

The Irish government has made this recommendation in line with other countries working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Employers and employees may wish to consider that there will likely be a back-log of visa applications for processing, and therefore processing times may increase.

If you have employees impacted by the above changes, please contact the Deloitte immigration team to assist. We continue to update our FAQ for employers found here.

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