Abolition of Adult Re-Entry Visas

15 April 2019

The Department of Justice and Equality has announced the abolition of adult re-entry visas for visa required nationals who hold a valid IRP card. Visa required nationals who hold a valid IRP card and passport will be permitted to re-enter the State without the need for an additional re-entry visa.

The change takes effect on 13 May 2019 and will benefit up 40,000 people annually.

In the interim period any visa required national who plans to leave the State and return before 13 May 2019 is still required to apply for a re-entry visa.

The move brings Ireland into line with other EU member states and will be of great benefit to IRP card holders. They will no longer be subject to the re-entry visa application process which involved submitting a passport to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, an application fee of €60 to €160 and a significant delay.

It should be noted that all visa required nationals who do not hold a valid IRP card will still be required to hold the relevant visa should they need to leave and return to the State.

This is particularly important for any visa required national who is intending to reside in Ireland but leave and return to the State within the first four months of their stay. As is widely known, it can take several weeks/ months to secure an appointment with the GNIB in order to register and obtain an IRP card after arrival. Therefore, visa required nationals who intend to leave and return before obtaining the card are being advised by the Department to obtain a multi-entry visa before arrival.

Unfortunately, it appears that individuals who have already entered the State on a single-entry visa, and are waiting to obtain their IRP card, will still be unable to travel and return prior to the issuing of their card.

Furthermore, minors under the age of 16 are unaffected by the change as IRP cards are not issued to anyone under 16 years of age. Should they require to leave and re-enter the State, a parent or guardian will have to apply for a re-entry visa on their behalf.

Finally, Diplomats and Embassy staff must still apply for re-entry visas and do not benefit from this change.

For further information contact David Cantrell, Immigration Partner or another member of the Immigration Team at Eugene F. Collins.

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