Visa Policy as Migration Channel: Ireland

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This study investigates the development of visa policy in Ireland.  The effect of visa policy and practice on the management of migration, both in terms of facilitating legal migration and preventing irregular migration is discussed. Available data on visa applications, approvals and refusals since 2005 are provided.

The Irish visa system is a form of pre-entry clearance to travel to a point of entry in Ireland only.  Ireland lies outside the Schengen zone and the issuing of both short and long-term visas is a national competence. The Irish visa system is discretionary, whereby the Minister for Justice and Equality decides whether or not to grant applications for visas. Exceptions relate to beneficiaries of EU Treaty free movement rights. The impact of EU policy and legislation on Irish visa policy is also discussed.

The study looks at cooperation with non-EU countries. Case studies are provided on Irish visa policy and practice in relation to Nigeria and China, including the introduction of a requirement for biometric data to support visa applications in Nigeria and Ireland’s approach to attracting Chinese students while tackling perceived abuses of the student visa system.

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Author(s):Emma Quinn
Publisher:Economic and Social Research Institute
Publication Date:30 Nov 2011
Geographic Focus:Irish
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