The annual European Migration Network policy reports examine the main trends and policy development in the area of migration and asylum at EU Member State level. This ninth annual policy analysis report on Ireland focuses on the period from January to December 2012. Some important developments included:-
- Further Census 2011 statistics were published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in late 2012 and showed that in April 2011 some 12 per cent of the resident population (544,357) from 199 different nationalities were living in Ireland.
- Ireland exercised its option to adopt the Council Decision in relation to the Agreement under Article 4 of Protocol 21 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
- The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 was enacted and provides for the establishment of a merged accreditation body.
- The Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2011 was passed in March 2012 following much parliamentary discussion and commenced on 20 September 2012.
- A review of guidelines used in the determination of decisions related to habitual residence conditions took place via a working group within the Department of Social Protection during 2010 and 2011, with new guidelines subsequently published.
- Two new immigration initiatives aimed at attracting non-EEA migrant entrepreneurs and investors were announced and became operational in mid-April 2012.
- New Immigration Guidelines for victims of domestic violence were published by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).
- From 1 November 2012, doctors presenting for registration or renewal at an immigration office would be provided with a ‘Stamp 1’ permission for two years upon production of a valid passport, letter of appointment for the public health service and an (endorsed) certificate of registration from the Irish Medical Council.
- A pilot project to civilianise certain port of entry functions at Dublin Airport continued, with training provided.
- The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence published the general scheme of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) (Amendment) Bill.
- Six pieces of secondary legislation relating to immigration and international protection were introduced during 2012.
Key figures in 2012
- An estimated 165,700 new applications (including for visas, residence, protection and citizenship) were received by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).
- 57,782 certificates of registration were issued.
- Approximately 121,000 non-EEA nationals had permission to remain in the State by year end.
- A total of 35 citizenship ceremonies were held during the year with almost 20,000 persons conferred with citizenship.
- 2,205 persons from outside the EU were refused leave to land at Irish ports.
- 302 persons were removed from Ireland by way of deportation.
- A total of 564 persons were granted leave to remain in Ireland under Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended).
- 956 applications for refugee status were received.
- 511 applications for subsidiary protection were received.
- 29 persons arrived in Ireland for the resettlement purposes UNHCR-led Resettlement Programme for vulnerable refugees.
- At the end of 2012, some 4,841 persons were in direct provision accommodation.
- 37 cases of alleged human trafficking involving 48 persons were reported to An Garda Síochána.