While the return of irregularly staying third country nationals (TCN) is a priority for the Irish State, in accordance with Protocol No.21 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) Ireland does not participate in the EU Return Directive (2008/115/EC). A Return Decision is defined in the Return Directive as an administrative decision or judicial act, stating or declaring the stay of a third-country national to be illegal and imposing or stating an obligation to return. In Ireland, the closest equivalent decision is a deportation order.
There are several key differences between the Irish return system and that provided for under the Directive. The concept of “risk of absconding” does not exist in the Irish context. Furthermore, unlike under the Return Directive, entry bans are not issued independently to deportation orders in Ireland.
Since the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 separate provision exists under Section 51 for the deportation of unsuccessful protection applicants. In the Irish return context, separate documents contain elements of the Return Decision. The notification that the individual does not have a legal basis to remain is contained in the final negative determination received by unsuccessful applicants for International Protection and in a notice of intention to deport (known as a ‘15-day letter’) for all others.
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