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Latest statistics on Immigration in Ireland in 2011

Date Published: 05-01-2012

The Department of Justice and Equality release key figures on immigration-related activity in Ireland in 2011 and announce reform plans for 2012.

Significant developments in 2011 are also noted, including the introduction of citizenship ceremonies (28 such ceremonies were held in 2011); the introduction of a Visa Waiver Programme applying to UK visa holders originating from certain states; and the signing of an agreement with the UK regarding the Common Travel Area.

Key figures for 2011*

Registrations of permission to remain in the State

  • The number of non-EEA nationals registered with permission to remain in the State was estimated at 130,500 at end 2011
  • Top 6 registered nationalities were:  Indian (11%), Chinese (9%), Brazilian (9%), Nigerian (9%), Philippine (8%) and US (7%)

Visa applications

  • Approximately 83,000 entry visa applications were processed (91% approved) in 2011, an increase of 8 per cent on 2010 figures
  • Top 5 nationalities of visa applicants were: Indian (17%), Russian (14%), Chinese (12%), Turkish (5%) and Saudi (5%)

Naturalisation / citizenship

  • 16,000 applications for citizenship were decided in 2011 compared to fewer than 8,000 in 2010


  • Approximately 32,500 non-EEA national students (25% of total registered non-EEA nationals)  are registered to study in the State

International Protection and Asylum

  • 1,250 new applications for asylum were received in 2011 compared to 1,939 in 2010


  • 280 unsuccessful asylum applicants and illegal migrants were deported
  • 144 asylum seekers were transferred under the Dublin Regulation to the EU member state in which they first presented
  • 3,700 were refused entry into the State and subsequently removed
  • 475 people returned voluntarily of which 402 were assisted by the International Organization for Migration IOM)

* Figures are provisional

Reform plans for 2012

  • Implementation of an Immigration Investor Programme and a start up Entrepreneur Programme for Immigrants, with the objective of encouraging investment and job creation
  • Review of Visa Waiver Programme with the aim of attracting visitors, particularly during 2012 Olympics in London
  • Implementation of a civilian Immigration Officer pilot project at Dublin Airport
  • Progress of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 within the parliamentary arena
  • Continued development of cooperation with the UK building on the Common Travel Area arrangement signed in December 2011
  • Development of a clear policy statement on family reunification or settlement
  • Development of an English language /civics test for naturalisation applicants.
For more information:

See Department of Justice and Equality Press Release

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