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Li v Minister for Justice

Applicant/Plaintiff: Qingzhou Li and Humin Wang
Respondent/Defendant: Minister for Justice and Equality
Citation/s: [2015] IEHC 638
Nature of Proceedings:Judicial Review
Court/s:High Court
Judgment Date/s: 21 October 2015
Judge: Humphreys J.
Category:Residence, Visa
Keywords:Immigration; Visa; Residence
Country of Origin: China
Geographical Focus:Ireland

Facts:
The applicants were Chinese nationals who were married and had an adult daughter, who married an Irish citizen in May 2011 and obtained Irish residency thereafter. In 2012 the applicants obtained a 90 day visitor’s visa to come to Ireland to visit their daughter. They returned to China immediately before the visa expired.

They subsequently applied for a further 90 day visitor’s visa, which was also granted. They arrived in Ireland in 2014. During this visit, however, they decided to seek an extension of their visa to enable them to live in Ireland on a more permanent basis with their daughter as dependents. The Minister for Justice refused, pointing out that, as visa-required nationals, they had to apply for the appropriate visa from outside the State. The applicants challenged this by way of judicial review.

The High Court rejected their challenged.

Reasoning:
The court upheld the Minister’s decision, accepting her argument that, if persons who came to the State on 90 day visitor visas were entitled to apply for longer term permission to remain, without first returning to their home countries, this would necessitate a greater degree of scrutiny of applications for visitor visas which, in turn, would have a knock on effect which would act to the detriment of persons who genuinely wished to visit for short periods.

Decision:
The High Court upheld the Minister’s decision.

Principles:

Where a visa-required national enters the State and wishes to remain on its territory after the expiry of the visa, he or she is required, upon or before expiry of that visa, to leave the State and make an application to re-enter it from outside its territory.


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