If you come to stay in Ireland for more than 3 months, and you are not a citizen of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you must register your presence in Ireland with An Garda Síochána. The EEA or European Economic Area consists of the 28 EU member states, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
Section 9 of the Immigration Act 2004 sets out the legal requirement for non-EEA nationals to register in Ireland 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 'Rules' 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
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 an Immigration Certificate of Registration. The amount of time it takes to issue your Certificate usually depends on which office you attend and how you pay for your Certificate. The Registration Certificate is the size of a credit card and includes your name, address, photograph and your residence details. It is sometimes 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. That Certificate 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 (pdf), for example, visiting academics
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; retired people of independent means; 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.
No. Certain groups of people do not need to register. For example, children under 16 who are non-EEA dependants of EU nationals and seafarers whose ship remains at port in the State and who do not land in the State for discharge. Non-EEA family members who are applying for residence under the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 still need to register and get a Immigration Certificate of Registration.
In order to register, you should go to your local immigration registration
office and ask for the registration officer as soon as possible following your
arrival in Ireland- see 'Where to apply' for details of addresses.
You will need to provide the following information about yourself:
You should bring your passport or other document establishing your nationality and identity. You should also bring documentation supporting your residence permission, for example, a work permit.
If you are in government service, you will be asked to state the service concerned, the nature and duration of your service, your rank and appointments held.
The registration officer may also ask you to provide fingerprints, and may ask for further details.
Since 19 November 2012 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:
Information on payment methods is set out under 'How to apply' below.
Call into 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. The registration officer will take your details and check your documents. If you are obliged to pay the fee, the registration officer will usually issue you with a special bank giro form. You should take this form to a bank and pay the fee.
In 5 immigration registration offices, you can choose to pay by credit or debit card instead of bank giro. These offices are:
Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2
Garda Station, Anglesea Street, Cork
Garda Station, Mill Street, Galway
Garda Station, Henry Street, Limerick
Garda Station, Fr Connolly Way, Drogheda, Co. Louth
If you have applied at any of these offices, you can collect your card as soon as the payment goes through and the card has been printed.
If you have applied at any other immigration registration office, you will have to call back later to collect the certificate, as it will be printed in the GNIB and sent out to the local office.
Before your GNIB card expires you should go to your local immigration registration office to renew it - see 'Where to apply below. You will need to bring your passport, your GNIB card and evidence to support your residence permission such a work 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.