Immigration in Ireland in 2013

07 Jan 2014

The Department of Justice and Equality has published provisional figures on immigration-related processing activity in Ireland during 2013.

Key figures for 2013*

Registration of permission to remain in the State

  • The number of non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in the State (for longer than 90 days) was provisionally 120,000 at the end of 2013 (compared to 121,000 in 2012).
  • Top 6 registered nationalities were from:
    • India (11%)
    • Brazil (10%)
    • China (9%)
    • Nigeria (8%)
    • USA (6%)
    • Philippines (6%)

 Visa applications

  • In 2013, approximately 95,000 entry visa applications were received, an increase of 8% on 2012 figures. The approval rate for applications received in 2013 was 91%.
  • Top 5 nationalities of visa applicants were:
    • India (16%)
    • Russia (15%)
    • China (11%)
    • Nigeria (6%)
    • Turkey (5%)

 Naturalisation / Citizenship

  • 30,000 applications for citizenship were decided in 2013 compared to 25,000 in 2012 and 16,000 in 2011.  A total of 18 citizenship ceremonies were held in 2013.

 International Students

  • In 2013, approximately 39,600 non-EEA national students (33% of total registered non-EEA nationals) were registered to study in Ireland.
  • The breakdown by education sector was:
    • 39% of students studying in Higher Education (Degree Programmes)
    • 21% in further Education (non-Degree Programmes)
    • 27% in language courses
    • 13% other (e.g. secondary level education)

 International Protection and Asylum

  • Provisional figures show that 946 new applications for asylum were received in 2013 compared to 956 in 2012.
  • Approximately 4,370 persons seeking international protection were accommodated in direct provision centres in Ireland in 2013 compared to 4,840 in 2012.


  • 2,250 people were deported/removed from the State in 2013 including:
    • 1,890 persons refused entry into the State at ports of entry and returned to the place from where they had come.
    • 210 unsuccessful asylum applicants and irregular migrants who were deported.
    • 84 asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin Regulation to the EU Member State in which they first applied for asylum.
    • 63 EU nationals returned to their countries of origin on foot of an EU Removal Order.
    • 425 people returned voluntarily of which 340 were assisted by the International Organization for Migration.

 Immigration data sharing with the UK

  • The details of 75,000 Irish visa applicants were cross-checked against UK records in 2013.

Department of Justice and Equality stated priorities for 2014:

  • Reduce the backlog and length of time applicants are waiting for decisions on citizenship, visa and asylum applications.
  • Reduce the time spent by Subsidiary Protection and Leave to Remain applicants in Direct Provision accommodation.
  • Enactment of Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill.
  • Introduction of new guidelines on Family Reunification.

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD also stated that work on new immigration law is at an ‘advanced stage’ .

For further information:

See Department of Justice and Equality Press Release

* Figures are provisional

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