View our frequently asked questions below relating to immigration and permission issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.
FAQs last updated Friday, 17 December 2021.
Our telephone helpline is available on 01 674-0200 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am-1pm. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we are getting more calls than usual so if you're not able to get through, please keep trying.
We also maintain a Facebook Immigration Support Group where you can ask questions of other people who have gone through similar immigration situations.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service have automatically extended the immigration permissions of anyone whose Immigration Residency Permissions (IRP) card expired between 20 March 2020 and May 2022.
Everyone who is covered by this temporary extension should either register or renew their permission by 31 May 2022 to ensure that they have a qualifying permission to remain in the State after that date, if that is their intention.
Dublin-based non-Irish nationals can use INIS's online renewal system to renew their permissions by visiting https://inisonline.jahs.ie. Through the online renewal system you can upload the required documents, pay the renewal fee and then send your passport and expired/expiring IRP card through registered post.
(At this time the online renewal system is only available for Dublin-based non-nationals.)
Renewals outside of Dublin must be done in person at your local GNIB office. For a list of offices and when they will be re-opening, visit the INIS website.
As of December 2021, the INIS registration office at Burgh Quay is open by appointment only. To book an appointment, visit https://burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie.
For a list of offices outside Dublin visit the INIS website.
For people based in Dublin who are renewing their immigration permissions using the INIS online renewal system, the average processing time is between 5-6 weeks from the point of submitting your application online and sending in your personal documents by registered post.
Our Helpline is continuing to receive calls from concerned people who are waiting for their documents to be returned from INIS. We understand how stressful it is being without your passport and other documents but the immigration department is working through a backlog of tens of thousands of renewals.
If you need your documents back for emergency situations such as needing to travel for a sick relative, etc., we recommend you email INIS at email@example.com and explain your situation. Multiple emails are recommended in order to get a response.
I have sent my passport to INIS to renew my immigration permissions but urgently need it back to travel for an emergency
If you have submitted your passport to renew your permissions but need to travel for an emergency, please contact INIS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01) 616-7700. You should write ‘URGENT – PASSPORT REQUIRED – EMERGENCY’ in the subject line of your email.
Please note you will need to email or phone more than once to get a response. We recommend calling or emailing every day until you reach someone.
We know this is a frustrating time but keep trying – we are hearing from people who are able to get through and sort out getting their passports back so they can travel for emergencies.
I renewed my immigration permissions online and sent my passport to INIS but have not received my passport back and the postal tracking number provided doesn’t work
We are hearing from many people about passports taking a long time to be sent back by INIS, passports being sent to the wrong people, and An Post tracking numbers provided by INIS not working.
It is taking on average 6 weeks or longer for passports to be sent back after confirmation of renewal.
We strongly advise you to contact INIS if your passport has not arrived after 6-8 weeks or if your An Post tracking number doesn’t work or if you have not received your IRP card. You can contact INIS at email@example.com or call (01) 616-7700. As you will likely only receive an automated response, you may also wish to copy INIScustomercomplaints@justice.ie, as this may assist you to receive a response more quickly.
If, following reasonable enquiries with INIS, your passport is still not located and returned to you, you should report it as lost to An Garda Síochána (your local police station) and contact your own Embassy.
Please note: If your passport is lost in the post, you may be entitled to compensation based on Irish data protection laws. Visit the Data Protection Commission to learn more and report your issue.
I’m an international English language student on a Stamp 2 – can I continue to work even though my language classes aren’t taking place in person?
Yes, you can continue to work the standard 20 hours per week.
Please note that if your course is due to expire during the pandemic you are required to register for another course before it expires to keep your permission valid.
Yes – applications for citizenship can still be sent as normal, but this includes the requirement for the statutory declaration witnessed by Notary Public, a Commissioner for Oaths or a Solicitor which may not be possible because of Covid.
For anyone applying for citizenship, the Department has advised longer turnaround times in returning documents such as passports.
The Department of Justice has announced that citizenship ceremonies will be suspended for the duration of the pandemic and anyone applying for citizenship will be required to submit a signed affidavit of loyalty to the State instead of attending ceremonies in person. You can read more on the Department of Justice website.
Will the automatic renewal of immigration permissions due to COVID count as reckonable residence for citizenship applications?
Yes, as long as the original permission that was automatically renewed counted as reckonable residence.
I’m the non-EEA partner of an Irish citizen who got stuck in Ireland on a tourist visa because of COVID. Can I apply in-country for De Facto partner status?
Yes, as a temporary measure. Applications can be submitted to Unit 5 Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, Immigration Service Delivery, PO Box 12595, Dublin 2 or via email to INISdefacto@justice.ie.
Yes. Visa appeals can be submitted electronically through email with scans of your original documents. Turnaround times for appeals will be longer due to COVID.
I’ve arrived in Ireland with permission to remain but haven’t registered with the GNIB because of COVID. What should I do?
Some individuals with a valid, current permission to remain can apply to the Registration Office by email to request a letter confirming your permission to remain in the State that can be shown to employers.
Visit the noticeboard on the INIS website to see if your permission qualifies for this condition.
The Department of Justice has a dedicated Customer Service Department to address complaints about immigration service delivery. If you have experienced poor treatment or other issues we encourage you to lodge a complaint using the contact information below:
If the issue was related to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service (INIS) you can email INIScustomercomplaints@justice.ie or send your complaint by post to
INIS Quality Customer Service Officer
Department of Justice and Equality
13/14 Burgh Quay
If the issue was related to your local Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) office, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or send your complaint by post to
Quality Customer Service Officer
Department of Justice and Equality
51 St. Stephen's Green
Additionally, if your residence entitlements in Ireland are governed by EU law and you feel your rights under EU law have been breached, you can submit a complaint to the European Commission by email or by post. Further information and the online complaint form is available here.
The Department of Justice has issued guidance for migrants wishing to leave and re-enter the country during the holiday season if they have an expired Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card and haven't been able to renew it before travelling.
Migrants with expired IRP cards can travel and return to the country with the expired IRP card up until 15 January 2022.
Migrants travelling under these conditions are advised to print the Department of Justice’s guidance on this matter and bring the print-out with them when re-entering the country.
You can read the guidance and print it here:
If you are staying outside Ireland for longer than 15 January 2022: You are advised to renew your IRP card before you travel if possible. If you’re from a visa-required country and have been unable to renew before you travel, you will have to apply for a visa to re-enter Ireland at your destination using the AVATS online system.
Travelling after 15 January 2022: The Department of Justice strongly advises you not to travel if your IRP card is out of date – you may be refused boarding by the airline and may have difficulties at border control and/or in transit. Migrants with expired IRP cards who will be abroad after 15 January 2022 are advised to renew their IRP cards before travelling.
The Immigrant Council is unable to guarantee that you will be granted re-entry into Ireland in the above scenarios.