Registration of non-EEA nationals
If you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you need permission to enter Ireland. If you wish to stay for more than 3 months you must have permission to remain and register your presence in Ireland with immigration.
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 registration officer and providing 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.
What is the purpose of registration?
Non-EEA national are registered in Ireland 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.
What happens after I register?
Following registration with immigration officials, you will be issued with a registration certificate called an Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
The Irish Residence Permit (IRP) replaced the GNIB card. The IRP is a credit-card sized plastic card and includes:
- Your name, photo, date of birth and registration number
- A brief description of your immigration permission (including your stamp number, see ‘Immigration stamps’ below)
- A microchip with a copy of your photo, fingerprints and personal details
GNIB cards remain valid until their expiry date, and will only be replaced with an IRP card if your registration is renewed. If you have a GNIB card, you do not need to change your card for an IRP card while the GNIB card is still valid.
Asylum seekers receive a different type of certificate – a Temporary Residence Certificate which is issued by the International Protection Office.
IRP cards are not identity cards. They are registration cards. They are, however, evidence that a person is legally resident in Ireland. You must carry your card with you at all times and show it to an immigration officer or the Garda Síochána if requested.
As well as your Irish Residence Permit (IRP), 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 lists 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 certain employment permit holders.
Spouses and civil partners of Irish nationals; family members of EEA citizens; people granted international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection); parents of an Irish citizen child granted permission 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.
In general, there is a fee of €300 (with some exemptions) for each Irish Residence Permit (IRP) issued to a non-EEA national. This fee is also payable when you are renewing it or replacing it if lost or stolen.
The fee and exemptions are set out in the Immigration Act 2004 (Registration Certificate Fee) Regulations 2012, as amended by the Immigration Act 2004 (Registration Certificate Fee) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (pdf).
You do not have to pay a fee if you are:
- A Programme refugee
- A Convention refugee
- A person who has been reunified with such a refugee under section 56 of the International Protection Act 2015
- Under the age of 18 at the time of registration
- The spouse, civil partner, widow, widower or surviving civil partner of an Irish citizen
- A family member of an EU national and you are given a residence card under EU Treaty Rights
- A person who has been granted subsidiary protection under section 47(4) of the International Protection Act 2015
- A person who has been granted permission to remain under section 49(4)(a) of the International Protection Act 2015
The Regulations list certain other categories of people with international protection who are exempt from the fee.
You can read more information about the fee, exemptions and payment methods on inis.gov.ie.
How to apply
As soon as possible following your arrival in Ireland, you should go to your local immigration registration office to register. If you live in Dublin this is the Burgh Quay Registration Office and you must book an appointment online to visit it. If you live outside Dublin, you go to a regional immigration office These offices are managed by the Garda Síochána and are generally located in Garda stations.
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.
The registration officer will take your details and check your documents.
Before your Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or GNIB card expires you should go to your local immigration registration office to renew it. You will need to bring your passport, your current card and evidence to support your residence permission, such as an employment permit. Note that if you have a GNIB card you do not need to change it for an IRP card while the GNIB card is still valid.
If you lose your IRP or 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 IRP card.