The Annual Report on Migration and Asylum 2017: Ireland provides an overview of trends, policy developments and significant debates in the area of migration and international protection during 2017 in Ireland.
Some important developments in 2017 included:
- 2017 was the first full year of implementation of the single application procedure under the International Protection Act 2015.
- The Supreme Court made a landmark judgment in the case NVH v Minister for Justice and Equality in May 2017, concerning the right to work for asylum applicants. The judgment found that the absolute prohibition on the right to work – in circumstances where there is no temporal limit on the asylum process – was contrary to the constitutional right to seek employment.
- In November 2017, the Government decided for Ireland to participate in the European Union recast Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU).
- From 3 April 2017, residents in direct provision centres could make complaints to the Ombudsman and Ombudsman for Children Offices.
- A total of 515 persons were relocated from Greece under the relocation strand of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) and 273 persons were resettled to Ireland. A Humanitarian Admission Programme (IHAP) for family members, to be met from the existing commitment of 4,000 persons under the IRPP, was announced in November 2017.
- From 11 December 2017, the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card was replaced by the Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
- A revised Third Level Graduate Programme for non-EEA national students was announced in June 2017.
- The Migrant Integration Strategy – A Blueprint for the Future which provides the framework for Government action on migrant integration for the period 2017 – 2020, was published in February 2017.
- The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 was signed into law in February 2017. This Act includes provisions making it an offence to pay to engage in sexual activity with a prostitute or a trafficked person.
Key figures for 2017:
- According to end of year figures, there were 127,955 non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in Ireland in 2017 compared to approximately 115,000 at the end of 2016.
- Net inward migration for non-EU nationals is estimated to be 20,900.
- The number of newly arriving immigrants increased year-on-year to 90,300 at April 2018 from 84,600 at April 2017. Non-EU nationals represented 34.2 per cent of that total at end April 2018.
- A total of 110,403 visas, both long stay and short stay, were issued in 2017.
- A total of 3,746 persons were refused entry to Ireland at the external borders and were returned to the place they had travelled from.
- A total of 8,199 certificates of naturalisation were granted in 2017, compared to 10,044 in 2016.
- 140 persons were returned from Ireland as part of forced return measures, with 181 persons availing of voluntary return, of whom 96 were assisted by the International Organization for Migration Assisted Voluntary Return Programme.
- There were 314 permissions of leave to remain granted following a consideration under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 during 2017. In addition, 72 persons were granted permission to remain under the new provisions in section 49 of the International Protection Act 2015.
- A total of 2,926 applications for international protection were received in 2017, an increase of just over 30% from applications for refugee status (2,244) received in 2016.
- 442 applications for family reunification were received under the International Protection Act 2015.
- A total of 75 suspected victims of trafficking were identified in 2017.