The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has released its annual report, assessing its performance in 2016 and setting goals for 2017.

Among other goals for 2017, the officials said they planned to:

  • Transfer responsibility for checking passports at Terminal 2 of the Dublin Airport from An Garda Síochána to INIS. This is scheduled to occur in mid-2017 and would conclude efforts to civilianize immigration-related services at the airport.
  • Implement Advance Passenger Information checks for passengers arriving in Ireland, beginning with flights from outside the EEA.
  • Introduce electronic border controls at the Dublin Airport.
  • Continue to upgrade the INIS website, including implementation of online application forms and payment options where possible.
  • Protect the Common Travel Area with the United Kingdom once the U.K. invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to formally begin the process of leaving the EU. The U.K. has said it will make it a priority to protect the Common Travel Area once negotiations begin.

Background: INIS’s annual review took stock of trends in Irish immigration and touched on a number of changes the Immigration Service implemented in 2016. Ireland saw an increase—from 114,000 to 115,000—in the number of non-EU nationals living in the country legally. Visa applications rose by 7 percent to more than 124,000. The report noted efforts to provide efficient and cost-effective immigration services, including shifting responsibility for immigration registration from the Garda National Immigration Bureau to INIS, launching an online employment permit system and extending the Short-Stay Visa Waiver Program through October 2021.

BAL Analysis: The goals outlined for 2017 in many ways build on ongoing efforts in Ireland, including civilianizing certain immigration operations, making more immigration services available online and protecting the Common Travel Area with the U.K. BAL will continue to follow key immigration-related developments in Ireland in 2017 and will provide updates to clients should significant changes occur.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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