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Immigration Act 2004

Until the introduction of the Immigration Act 2004, the Aliens Act 1935 formed the basic legislation governing the entry and residence of non-Irish nationals in the State. A complicated series of judgments led to the introduction of this Act. In response to the Leontjava and Chang v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  High Court judgment the Government quickly introduced the Immigration Act 2004. Considerable controversy attended the speed with which this Bill was passed through the legislative process into law. The State stressed that the judgment had left Ireland without a legislative basis for the operation of immigration controls and that such a situation warranted urgent action.

The Act includes a wide range of provisions that would previously have been contained in the Orders made under the 1935 Act. It makes provision for the appointment of immigration officers and criteria for permission to land. The Act empowers the Minister to make orders regarding visas and approved ports for landing, and imposes limits on the duration of a non-Irish national’s stay. Certain obligations are imposed on carriers.  

Section 34 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 amends the Immigration Act 2004 to take account of the decision of the High Court in E.D. v. D.P.P., [2011] IEHC 110.

S.11 of the Act of 2004 is amended to require that non-nationals presenting at the border be in possession of a valid passport or other equivalent document. When requested to do so by an immigration officer, non-nationals are required to furnish their passport or identity document and such further information as the officer may require. Failure to comply with these obligations is an offence. The new section also creates a defence of reasonable cause for non-compliance.

S.12 is amended to require that every non-national in the State shall produce on demand by a Garda Siochana a valid passport or identity document. Again, failure to comply with this obligations is an offence, and a defence of reasonable cause for non-compliance is provided for.

S.19 is amended to allow for the charging of fees in respect of applications under the Immigration Acts.

Date: 13 February 2004
Legislation Type:Act (IE)
References: Aliens Act 1935; Leontjava v. Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Chang v. Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Geographical Focus:Ireland
In Force:Yes
Opt In:Not applicable
Categories:Detention, Residence, Visa
Keywords:Carrier; Entry (Illegal); Entry (Legal); Entry (Refusal of); Immigrant; Immigration; Immigration (Illegal); Migration; Residence Permit; Visa; Detention; carrier liability
URL: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2004/en/act/pub/0001/print.html

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Key legislation

Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956-2004

citizenship - naturalisation


Immigration Act 2004

immigration - entry into Ireland (legal and illegal) - visa - residence - detention - carrier liability

Immigration Act 2003

immigration - carrier liability - border controls - deportation - detention

Immigration Act 1999

immigration - deportation - detention - exclusion


Refugee Act 1996

refugee status - non-refoulement - asylum - family reunification - Dublin Convention


Employment Permits Act 2006

employment permits - employment of legally resident third country national - labour migration

Employment Permits Act 2003

free movement - EU citizens - EU accession 2004 - labour migration - employment permits


European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003

human rights - freedom of movement (right to) - non-refoulement - explusion

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