What is the change? Applicants for multiple-entry visas (MEVs) have been experiencing processing delays as Ireland transitions to new smart cards.

What does the change mean? Applications formerly completed in one day now may require more time.

  • Implementation timeframe: Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) implemented the new smart-card system May 12.
  • Visas/permits affected: Multiple-entry visas.
  • Who is affected: Applicants for multiple-entry visas.
  • Impact on processing times:As the smart-card system continues to roll out, processing delays are occurring.
  • Next steps: Foreign nationals should allow more time when applying for MEVs and be prepared to arrive early in the morning.

Background: Following the implementation of the new system May 12, smart cards containing biometric data have been issued to foreign nationals registering as residents. The transition is causing delays in MEV processing and the GNIB in Dublin has been experiencing long queues of applicants who have been arriving early in the morning before the office opens and sometimes waiting all day and leaving without being served. Foreign nationals living outside Dublin may apply via mail, but processing sometimes requires 10 days or more.

BAL Analysis: Companies and assignees should be aware of the situation and not leave MEV applications to the last minute.

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

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