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The 100th citizenship ceremony since June 2011 was held in Dublin last week. Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
Céad Míle Fáilte

Citizenship and visa applications reach all time high

Some 172,000 new applications were received in 2014.

THE TOTAL NUMBER of new applications for visas, residence and citizenship received by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) reached record levels in 2014.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald released a breakdown of the numbers today.

Provisional figures show that at the end of 2014 there were approximately 95,000 non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals with permission to remain in the State. This figure stood at 107,000 at the end of 2013.

All non-EEA nationals remaining in the country for longer than 90 days are required to register with An Garda Síochána.

The current top six registered nationalities – which account for over 50% of all people registered – are Brazil (12%), India (11%), China (9%), USA (7%), Nigeria (6%), and the Philippines (5%). The majority of people with permission to remain in the State are here for work or study purposes.

Overall in 2014, approximately 172,000 new applications (i.e. visa, residence, protection and citizenship) were received by the INIS.

Decisions were issued in almost 179,000 cases (a proportion of decisions issued relate to applications submitted in previous years); and 92,000 new or renewed registrations of permission to remain in the State were issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

Provisional figures indicate that approximately 101,500 entry visa applications for both short and long stay visits were received in 2014, an increase of 6% on 2013 and a cumulative increase of 22% since 2011. The approval rate for entry visa applications was 91%. The top 5 nationalities applying for visas in 2014 were India (17%), Russia (14%), China (11%), Nigeria (6%) and Saudi Arabia (5%).

Some 42 new recruits start started working in Immigration Service today as part of civilianisation of border control at Dublin Airport.


Provisional figures for end 2014 indicate that there were approximately 4,280 people seeking international protection accommodated in direct provision centres. This figure is some 110 fewer than at the end of 2013 and over 1,800 fewer than the number of people accommodated at the end of 2010, which stood at just over 6,100.

1,444 asylum applications were received in 2014, compared to 946 in 2013 – a 53% increase. This reverses the trend of recent years when application numbers were decreasing year on year. The top three countries of application in 2014 were Pakistan, Nigeria and Albania.

In December 2014, Fitzgerald announced that a total of 111 “vulnerable people” from Syria and the surrounding region had been granted admission to reside in Ireland following applications to her department from relatives already resident here. In addition, the Government accepted 90 Syrian refugees in 2014 under the UNHCR resettlement programme.

Mideast Lebanon Syrian Refugees Weather Syrian girls make a snowman outside their tent at a refugee camp in al-Majdal village, Bekaa valley, east Lebanon, AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Fitzgerald said that the Civil Registration Act 2014 would strengthen the arm of the State in tackling marriages of convenience and associated immigration abuses.

The Minister said that the authorities will be working in close cooperation with the General Register’s Office in 2015 as this legislation is commenced. The immigration authorities will also be working closely with National Employment Rights Authority and the Department of Social Protection to target employers of illegal migrants.


Approximately 2,360 people were deported from the country in 2014. Of this figure, 2,147 peeople who were refused entry into the State at ports of entry and were returned to the place from where they had come.

In addition, 111 failed asylum seekers and illegal migrants were deported from the State, 87 EU nationals were returned to their countries of origin on foot of an EU Removal Order and 17 asylum seekers were transferred under the Dublin Regulation to the EU member stated in which they first applied for asylum.

Provisional figures show that a total of 237 people chose to return home voluntarily in 2014.

‘Ireland is great … it has never tried to invade or enslave another country’

Ireland’s new passport-checking civil servants started work today

You can now travel with a card instead of your passport*

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