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New Immigration Changes Announced

SourceDepartment of Justice Website

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, T.D., has today announced a number of immigration changes to simplify and streamline the processing of citizenship applications and to facilitate immigration requirements for our customers over the Christmas period.

Changes to citizenship application process

From 1 January 2022, new applicants for citizenship will not be required to submit their original passport with the initial application. Instead, they can provide a full colour copy of their entire passport, including the front and back covers. The colour copy must be witnessed by a solicitor and submitted with the application form.

Anyone who intends travelling between now and the Christmas holidays and will require the use of their passport to do so, may wish to consider waiting until the New Year to make their citizenship application when the new arrangements will apply.

In addition, significant changes are also being introduced for customers regarding the number of proofs required to establish their identity and residency as part of the application process.

From January, the Department will be moving to a scorecard approach, which will bring added clarity regarding what information applicants will be required to provide to establish their identity and residency. In particular, for doctors who are employed in the HSE or in Voluntary Hospitals, the provision of a “Medical Practitioner Employment History Summary” will be accepted as proof of residence.

Further updates will be provided on the Citizenship pages of the website in the coming weeks.

Changes to immigration requirements for our customers over the Christmas period   

Customers holding an Irish Residence Permit card that was in-date at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, will now have its validity period extended to 15 January 2022. This means that they may use their current expired card to enable them to depart from and return to Ireland in confidence over Christmas and until 15 January 2022.

Anyone travelling during this time will be able to print a copy of a travel confirmation notice (see link below) and display this with your existing IRP card to show proof of residence when returning to Ireland before the 15 January 2022.

The re-entry visa requirements for children under the age of 16 have also been suspended until 15 January 2022.

The Department is engaging with airline carriers to notify them of this new arrangement and to ensure that the process runs smoothly. It can also be displayed as proof of residence for employment purposes or to access any State services and supports that people are ordinarily eligible for.

The travel confirmation notice and FAQ document are available on the Department’s Irish Immigration website at: