This study is descriptive in nature, providing a “map” of immigration and asylum-related policy in Ireland in 2008: how it is formed, its substance and how it is implemented. The focus is on non-EU immigration. Irish immigration policy is unusual within Europe in that it is strongly influenced by the Common Travel Area we share with the UK. In addition Ireland and the UK may opt out of EU measures relating to immigration and asylum. Ireland does not have a long history of immigration and this is reflected in the still disparate nature of our immigration policy.
This report attempts to lend clarity to how immigration and asylum policies are currently organised in Ireland as well as indicating where changes may soon be made. A similar report will be produced by other participating EMN National Contact Points. A synthesis report will be compiled that will draw together the findings of individual studies and place them in a European context. Country studies will be updated on an ongoing basis.