The Annual Report on Migration and Asylum 2018: Ireland provides an overview of trends, policy developments and significant debates in the area of migration and international protection during 2018 in Ireland.
Some important developments in 2018 included:
- The European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 transposed the Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33/EU) into Irish law. The Regulations came into effect from 30 June 2018.
- In October 2018, the Minister for Justice and Equality introduced a scheme for undocumented persons who had formerly held residence permissions as students between 2005 and 2010, and had not in the intervening period held an alternative residence permission, to apply for permission to remain. This scheme also took into account the concerns in the judgment Luximon v Minister for Justice [IESC 24], of April 2018.
- New preclearance schemes for Ministers of Religion and Volunteering in Ireland were introduced from 30 April 2018.
- A review of economic migration policy and the employment permits regime was conducted by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) and overseen by an Inter-Departmental Group during 2018. The purpose of the review was to examine the employment permits regime and to ensure that it remained supportive of Ireland’s current labour market needs. The report of the Inter-Departmental Group was published in September 2018.
- The relocation strand of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) concluded in March 2018. A total of 1,022 persons were relocated to Ireland from Greece under the relocation strand, 267 of which arrived in 2018. In addition, a total of 338 persons were resettled to Ireland in 2018.
- The Calais Special Project to relocate unaccompanied minors who had previously been living in the unofficial migrant camp in Calais concluded in 2018. A total of 41 children were relocated to Ireland under the project.
Key figures for 2018:
- According to end of year figures, there were 142,924 non-EEA nationals with permission to reside in Ireland in 2018 compared to approximately 127,955 at the end of 2017.
- Net inward migration for non-EU nationals at April 2019 is estimated to be 19,400.
- The number of newly arriving immigrants decreased year-on-year to 88,600 at April 2019 from 90,300 at April 2018. Non-EU nationals represented 34.5 per cent of that total at end April 2019.
- A total of 13,398 employment permits were issued during 2018, an increase of 17.9 per cent over the 2017 total of 11,361.
- A total of 119,608 visas, both long stay and short stay, were issued in 2018.
- A total of 3,673 applications for international protection were received in 2018, an increase of 25% from the 2,926 applications received in 2017.
- A total of 163 deportation orders were effected in 2018. Some 202 third country nationals availed of voluntary return, of whom 80 third country nationals were assisted by the International Organization for Migration Assisted Voluntary Return Programme.
- A total of 64 suspected victims of trafficking were identified in 2018.