As part of the Level 5 restrictions for the coming weeks, long delays are expected in different immigration, asylum, and passport services until further notice.
While the move into Level 5 has been nationally imposed, as these immigration services are based out of Dublin, many will remain suspended until the Capital has been brought back down to Level 3.
This may result in delays beyond the six week lockdown period announced, as Dublin has consistently been the worst affected county in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foreign Birth Registrations
The Department of Foreign Affairs have announced that the processing of applications for entry on the Foreign Birth Register in order for a person to become an Irish citizen, has been suspended until Dublin returns to Level 3 of the National Framework for Living with Covid-19.
Applicants can continue to submit their applications for Foreign Birth Registration in circumstances where the DFA have confirmed that documentation is held securely until processing recommences.
Given that applications are currently taking 12-18 months to process, people are being encouraged to continue to submit their applications in order to take their place in the long processing queue.
Irish Passport Applications
The Passport Service has suspended the processing of applications for Irish passports – regardless of whether it is a first-time application or renewal.
Similar to applications for Foreign Birth Registration, applicants can submit their documentation in order to take their place in the processing queue however the applications will not be processed at present.
Individuals are again being encouraged to continue to submit their applications to avoid further delays when processing recommences.
The Passport Online service will issue a further update in six weeks with respect to a return to processing.
The Passport Express service will recommence processing applications when Dublin returns to Level 3 restrictions. They anticipate processing to take six to eight weeks at that juncture.
Emergency applications will continue to be processed where a person requires a passport for travel in an emergency (death or serious illness of a family member or emergency medical treatment). Applicants should contact the passport webchat service here to make arrangements.
International Protection Appeals Tribunal
The International Protection Appeals Tribunal have announced the postponement of oral hearings in the tribunal for six weeks from the 22nd of October 2020.
Immigration solicitors Sinnott as a government deemed essential service will remain open throughout the Level 5 lockdown period to serve both new and existing clients.