The High Court has recently stated that only UK nationals and Irish citizens may avail of the reduced border restrictions of the Common Travel Are. In practice this means that non-nationals travelling between Ireland and the UK, including the North of Ireland, may face difficulties returning to the South of Ireland
Often a person's right to remain in Ireland is conditional upon that person remaining within the State. This may become an issue where a person unwittingly crosses the border to the North of Ireland. On return to the South the person may be required to re-apply for permission to land or be in the State.
The case involved a Bolivian couple who had travelled to the North of Ireland onwards to Scotland and then to London. They had been given permission to remain in Ireland for one month from their first arrival in Dublin
The Court noted that there appears to be a common misconception that foreign nationals could also benefit from the Common Travel Area, which, according to the court, not the case. The couple were stopped by the UK authorities in Scotland and sought to deport them, they asked the Irish authorities whether they were entitled to re-enter Ireland which the Irish authorities said they were not.
The Court noted that the couple had probably made an innocent mistake.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has announced an extension for certain non-EEA nationals registered as students who have exceeded the 7 year time frame.
A 2 year probationary extension is being made available to students who have been resident within the state and registered as a student before 1st January 2005.
At the end of the 2 year probationary period the student may be eligible to apply for a more permanent status.
During the 2 year probationary period the following restrictions will apply:
- The eligible student will not be required to be registered or enrolled in an academic course of study.
- The eligible student will be permitted to work for a maximum period of 40 hours per week without being required to hold a work permit.
- The eligible student will be required to maintain private medical insurance.
- The eligible student will be required to reside in the State without drawing on publicly funded social assistance programmes (e.g. supplementary welfare allowances, medical card, jobseeker supports etc.)
- The eligible student will not be permitted to apply for reunification with family members who are resident outside the State.
- The eligible student must be of good character and must demonstrate that they are law abiding.
Conclusion of the Probationary Period
At the conclusion of the two year probationary period the eligible students can apply for a Stamp 4 permission to reside in the State. Students will be required to -
- Demonstrate that they have resided in Ireland during the probationary period, and
- Submit a valid P60 certificate which has been issued during the two year probationary period, and
- Reside in the State without drawing on publicly funded social assistance programmes (e.g. supplementary welfare allowances, medical card, jobseeker supports etc.), and
- Be of good character and not be convicted or charged with any criminal offences, and
- Pay an appropriate immigration levy.
We feel that the probationary period will be of particular interest to Chinese nationals who may wish to extend their time within the state or may wish to reside on a more permanent basis, although the scheme will be open to all non-EEA nationals.
If you require advice regarding the INIS 2 year probation scheme or if you have a general immigration law query, contact us to arrange a consultation.