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.,  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.