If you come to stay in Ireland for more than 3 months, and you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you must have permission to remain and register your presence in Ireland with An Garda Síochána. The EEA consists of the 28 EU member states, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
Under Section 9 of the Immigration Act 2004, non-EEA nationals must register when staying here for more than 3 months. In practice, this means that you are obliged to register with your local immigration registration officer following your arrival in Ireland. Registering with immigration officials means appearing in person before the Garda National Immigration Bureau (if you are in Dublin) or the District Headquarters in other Garda Districts. When you present yourself before the registration officer you must provide certain information and evidence about your status - see 'How to apply' below.
Any changes you
wish to make to the length of your stay or status must also be reported to
immigration officials. You must also notify the registration officer if you
plan to move to another Garda District, and report to the registration officer
of that new district within 2 days of arriving to live there.
The purpose of registration of non-EEA nationals is for border control reasons. The Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) also carries out deportations, border control and investigations related to illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings. The GNIB has specialist units dealing in each area.
Following registration with immigration officials, you will be issued with a Certificate of Registration. The Registration Certificate is the size of a credit card and includes your name, address, photograph and your residence details. It is also called a GNIB card as it is issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).
Asylum seekers receive a different type of certificate - a Temporary Residence Certificate which is issued by the Refugee Applications Commissioner.
Registration Certificates are not identity cards. They are however evidence that a person is legally resident in Ireland and you must show evidence of this, if requested by the Gardaí.
As well as your Registration Certificate you will also receive a stamp in your passport which specifies the duration and the conditions of your permission to remain in Ireland. The following table gives a list of the different types of stamp issued to non-EEA nationals:
|Stamp number||Issued to|
Persons who are permitted to remain in Ireland for a specific, temporary and limited purpose, for example, visiting academics; retired people of independent means;
|1G||Graduates who are permitted to remain under the Third Level Graduate Scheme (pdf).|
Students who are attending a recognised full-time course of at least one year. They are permitted to work for 20 hours a week during term time and full time during holidays.
Students who are attending a course not recognised by the Department of Education and Skills. They are not permitted to work.
Persons who are not permitted to work. This includes visitors; ministers of religion and members of religious orders; spouses, civil partners and dependants of employment permit holders.
Spouses and civil partners of Irish nationals; family members of EEA citizens; Convention and Programme refugees; parents of Irish citizen child granted leave to remain on that basis. They do not need an employment permit or business permission to work.
|4 (EU FAM)||
Family members of EU nationals who have exercised their right to move to and live in Ireland. They do not need an employment permit or business permission to work.
There is a fee of €300 for each certificate of registration issued to a non-EEA national. This fee is also payable when you are renewing it or replacing it if lost or stolen.
You do not have to pay a fee if you are:
As soon as possible following your arrival in Ireland, you should go to your local immigration registration office which is the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) if you live in Dublin and your Garda District Headquarters if you live outside Dublin - see 'Where to apply' below.
You should bring your passport or other document establishing your nationality and identity and you should provide any information requested in connection with the purpose of your arrival in Ireland. You should also bring documentation supporting your residence permission, for example, an employment permit.
The registration officer will take your details and check your documents. If you are required to pay the fee, the GNIB has published information on methods of payment (pdf). The registration officer may also ask you to provide fingerprints, and may ask for further details.
Before your GNIB card expires you should go to your local immigration registration office to renew it. You will need to bring your passport, your GNIB card and evidence to support your residence permission such an employment permit.
If you lose your GNIB card or if it is stolen, you should report the loss or theft to the nearest Garda station and get a lost/stolen report. If you are abroad you should report it to the nearest police station and get a similar report. You should then go to your local immigration registration office with the lost/stolen report and your passport to get a replacement GNIB card.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.