Gardaí to be freed up for enforcement as more paperwork outsourced

Processing migration residence permits in Cork and Limerick to be transferred to Department of Justice in extension of ‘civilianisation’ scheme

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee: 'Civilianising registration functions releases valuable Garda hours to focus on operational and enforcement matters, such as deportations and investigations.' Photograph: Sam Boal/Collins Photos

Gardaí are to stop processing Irish immigration residence permission for foreign nationals living in Cork and Limerick from next month as part of efforts to free up members of the force for policing operations including deportations.

From July 8th, responsibility for first-time registrations and renewals of residence permits for non-European Union and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals living in the two counties will transfer from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to the registration office of the Department of Justice Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) unit.

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The responsibility for residence permit registrations and renewals had already switched to the ISD for people living in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.

Once the transfer related to Cork and Limerick is complete, approximately 80 per cent of all national registrations and renewals will have transferred from An Garda Síochána to the Department of Justice.


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The full nationwide transfer of registration functions from the GNIB to the ISD is to be substantially completed by early next year.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said she was “committed to pursuing all opportunities to civilianise administrative functions within An Garda Síochána”.

She added: “Nationwide, over 100 Gardaí have been assigned to immigration duties, including registration.

“Civilianising registration functions releases valuable Garda hours to focus on operational and enforcement matters, such as deportations and investigations.

“The transfer of registration functions for counties Cork and Limerick represents an important step forward in this effort.”

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In 2023, there were some 10,000 first registrations and 22,000 renewals of permission in Cork and Limerick.

Ms McEntee said individuals in Cork and Limerick would be able to renew their immigration permissions online, thereby removing the requirement for customers in these counties to attend in-person appointments.

First-time applicants residing in Cork and Limerick will be required to register their immigration permission at the Registration Office located at Burgh Quay in Dublin.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times