Immigration in Ireland in 2015

04 Mar 2016

The Department of Justice and Equality published the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Immigration in Ireland: Annual Review 2015 which includes figures on immigration-related processing activity in Ireland during 2015.

Key figures for 2015*

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 approximately 96,000 in 2015 (an increase of 1,000 compared to 2014).
  • Top 5 registered nationalities were from:
    • Brazil (16%)
    • India (11%)
    • China (9%)
    • USA (7%)
    • Pakistan (6%)

 Visa applications

  • In 2015, approximately 115,700 entry visa applications were received, an increase of 14% on 2014 figures. The approval rate for applications received in 2015 was 91%.
  • Top 5 nationalities of visa applicants were:
    • India (17%)
    • China (12%)
    • Russia (10%)
    • Pakistan (7%)
    • Nigeria (5%)


  • 13,570 citizenship certificates were issued in 2015.
  • Top 5 nationalities awarded citizenship were:
    • India (12%)
    • Nigeria (10%)
    • Philippines (9%)
    • Poland (8%)
    • Romania (7%)

 International Protection and Asylum

  • Provisional figures show that 3,276 new applications for asylum were received in 2015 compared to 1,444 in 2014, an increase of 127%.
  • Approximately 4,696 persons seeking international protection were accommodated in direct provision centres in Ireland in 2015, an increase of 7.6% compared with 2014.


  • Approximately 3,790 people were deported/removed from the State in 2015 including:
    • 3,451 persons refused entry into Ireland at ports of entry and returned to the place from where they had come.
    • 251 unsuccessful asylum applicants and irregular migrants who were deported.
    • 19 asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin Regulation to the EU Member State in which they first applied for asylum.
    • 69 EU nationals returned to their countries of origin on foot of an EU Removal Order.
    • 132 people returned voluntarily of which 110 were assisted by the International Organization for Migration.

 Immigration data sharing with the UK

  • The details of over 100,000 Irish visa applicants were cross-checked against UK records in 2015.

Department of Justice and Equality stated priorities for 2016:

  • Complete the civilisation of the border control at Dublin Airport.  
  • Transfer the registration functions of the Garda National Immigration Bureau at Burgh Quay to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
  • Evaluate the Immigrant Investor Programme.
  • Review and update procedures and systems at ports of entry to take into account developments at EU level.
  • Work with the UK authorities to enhance the security of the common travel area taking into account developments at EU level.
  • Work with EU partners to provide solutions to the EU migration situation.
  • Implement the recommendations of the Working Group on Improvements to the Protection Process including the Direct Provision System.
  • Prepare the Single Protection Procedure as set out in the International Protection Act 2015 including provisions to reduce the length of time to process international protection applications.

For further information:

See: Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Immigration in Ireland: Annual Review 2015

* Figures are provisional

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