A comprehensive update on Irish residency permissions and IRP Cards including first registration applications, renewals and change of permission applications.


1.  First time registration applications

a) Applicants residing in the greater Dublin area (Dublin city or county)

Individuals who have recently arrived in Ireland who are seeking to register with the Irish authorities for the first time and secure their IRP card must request an appointment via the online appointment system, a link to which is here.

Attendance remains strictly by appointment only with stringent social distancing measures in operation.

In the event of an urgent appointment being sought, an email ought to be sent to burghquayregoffice@justice.ie detailing the purpose and nature of the urgent request.

Entry into the Burgh Quay public offices will only be granted by presentation of the appointment acknowledgement email received by applicants.

b) Applicants residing outside of Dublin

Applicants living outside of Dublin must attend at their local registration office to complete their first registration application. These regional registration offices are managed by An Garda Síochána (the Irish police) and are located within a number of police stations nationwide. A list of the main registration offices outside of Dublin can be found via the link here.

Applicants may require an appointment before attending at their local registration office and so they should contact the relevant office directly in advance to check on the requirements.

2. Renewal of existing Irish residency permissions and IRP cards

a) Applicants residing in the greater Dublin area (Dublin city or county)

Since 20 July 2020, in order to renew all stamp category permissions, Dublin-based applicants must complete an application form online via the link here.

This online renewal system will enable Dublin based applicants to:

  • Complete a short application form.
  • Upload copies of supporting documents; and
  • Pay the applicable processing fee by debit/credit card.

Once the online process is complete, the applicant will be required to submit their passport and current IRP card to the Burgh Quay Registration Office for further processing. Once the authorities have had an opportunity to review the documents, the applicant’s passport will be stamped and returned by registered post with the new IRP card to follow by express post.

This means that all Dublin based applicants looking to renew their Irish residency permission and IRP card will no longer be required to book an appointment and attend at the registration office in person.

b) Applicants residing outside of Dublin

Applicants living outside of Dublin must attend at their local registration office to complete their renewal application. Therefore, the instructions provided in 1(b) above will apply.

3. Applications to change Irish residency permission

This relates to a situation whereby a non-EEA national is already legally resident in Ireland but is required to apply for a different stamp category (i.e. a different type of Irish residency permission) as a result of a change in their circumstances. For example, a non-EEA national student who is currently resident in Ireland on a Stamp 2 but who has recently secured an Irish employment permit will be required to apply for a Stamp 1 Irish residency permission.

a) Applicants residing in the greater Dublin area (Dublin city or county)

We have been advised by the Burgh Quay Registration Office Team that change of permission applications are now being considered as renewals and so Dublin-based applicants must complete the online process as described in 2(a) above.

Any applicant experiencing difficulty in respect of changing permissions and IRP card expiry dates, are advised to contact reentryqueries@justice.ie.

b) Applicants residing outside of Dublin

Applicants living outside of Dublin must attend at their local registration office to complete their change of permission application. Therefore, the instructions provided in 1(b) above will apply.

4. Processing times

a) Applicants residing in the greater Dublin area (Dublin city or county)

Applicants in Dublin should be mindful of the following:

  • First registration applicants are advised to check the online appointments portal early and often to secure an appointment. In our experience, it may take up to a week of daily checks before an appointment will be secured. We understand that appointments secured today are likely to be for a date in 7-9 weeks’ time. It is also worth noting that a small number of extra nearer term appointments are released every day at 2.30pm and so applicants should check the online portal at the appropriate time.
  • We are advised that as of 7 September 2020, the Irish authorities were processing renewal (including change of permission) applications received on 28 July 2020 (i.e. approximately a 6-8 week delay). Applicants should therefore be prepared for the possibility that once they submit their passport and IRP card, it may take up to 2 months for the process to be completed and their documents returned.

b) Applicants residing outside of Dublin

The regional registration offices were also closed for a number of months earlier this year in line with Covid-19 public health restrictions. As a result, they are also dealing with a backlog of applications but we do not anticipate these delays to be anything close to those experienced by applicants in Dublin. Applicants are however advised to make contact with their local registration office to check on localised processing times.

5. Automatic renewals of current Irish residency permissions

In light of the national restrictions put in place targeting the evolving Covid-19 pandemic and the impact that these restrictions are having on non-EEA nationals’ ability to regularise their Irish residency permission, the Irish authorities have made a number of announcements regarding the automatic renewal of permissions. The Minister for Justice and Equality announced on 18 September a further temporary extension of immigration and international protection permissions to 20 January 2021. This applies to permissions that are due to expire between 20 September 2020 and 20 January 2021.

This is to allow non-EEA nationals some further time to make arrangements to renew their immigration permission in the ordinary course by 20 January 2021. This is the fifth, and expected to be the final, extension of permissions implemented since the outset of the pandemic.

Renewal is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions will continue to apply.

6. Travel outside of Ireland

It is possible for a non-EEA national to leave Ireland without renewing their current Irish residency permission. However, it is important to note that holders of IRP cards who are not currently in the country cannot benefit from the automatic extensions referred to above. This means that a non-EEA visa requiring national cannot rely upon their expired IRP card (and the automatic extension of their IRP card in line with the recent announcements) as a re-entry visa to return to Ireland. Accordingly, if they fail to return to Ireland prior to the expiry date on the face of their current IRP card, they will need to apply for a fresh Irish entry visa before travelling.

Key contact

David Cantrell

David Cantrell

Partner, Immigration & Dispute Resolution
Dublin, Ireland

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