The Annual Policy Report on Migration and Asylum 2013 provides an overview of trends, policy developments and significant debates in the area of asylum and migration during 2013 in Ireland.
Some important developments in 2013 included:-
- Ireland held the Presidency of the EU for the first six months of 2013. A number of developments occurred related to asylum and migration in the area of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA).
- Four pieces of secondary legislation relevant to the migration and international protection area were introduced.
- Under the European Union (Subsidiary Protection) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 426 of 2013), responsibility for the processing of applications for subsidiary protection, both new cases and those on hand, transferred from the Minister for Justice and Equality to the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner.
- The Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) (Amendment) Act 2013 was enacted.
- In May 2013 Ireland announced that it would not be exercising an option under the Accession Treaty to restrict access to Ireland’s labour market for nationals of Croatia.
- In July 2013, changes to the Immigrant Investor Programme were announced.
- In November 2013, Thailand was added to the list of applicable countries under the Visa Waiver Scheme, bringing the number of countries covered by the Scheme to eighteen.
- The Departments of Justice and Equality, and Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation announced a series of initiatives related to changes for highly-qualified workers; a Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation and an Atypical Working Scheme.
- Automated border e-gates were tested at Dublin Airport for the first time.
- Ireland completed the necessary parliamentary procedures to opt-in to 11 EU readmission agreements in accordance with Article 4 of the Protocol to the TFEU.
Key figures for 2013:
- An estimated 166,000 new applications (including for visas, residence, protection and citizenship) were received by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).
- Over 97,100 new or renewed registrations were issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).
- Approximately 120,000 non-EEA nationals had permission to remain in the State.
- The total net outward migration remained broadly consistent with the previous 12-month period (33,100 compared with 34,400 respectively).
- Immigration to Ireland decreased by nearly 51 per cent (or from 113,500 in 2008 to 55,900 in 2013).
- Emigration from Ireland has risen by almost 81 per cent (or from 49,200 to 89,000) in the same period.
- 95,000 entry visa applications were received, with an overall approval rate of 91 per cent.
- 946 applications for asylum were received.
- 425 persons were assisted to return home voluntarily (340 assisted by IOM and 85 by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service).
- 922 persons were granted leave to remain in Ireland.