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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
immigration control

Over 3,500 people refused entry to Ireland last year including 487 Albanians and 459 Brazilians

Albanians top the list this year.

OVER 3,500 WERE refused entry to Ireland at passport control in the last year, has learned. 

Figures released under a Freedom of Information request showed how 487 Albanians were refused entry to the State – the country with the most refusals. 

The top countries to have people rejected include: 

  • Albania (487)
  • Brazil (459)
  • Georgia (365)
  • America (191)
  • Bolivia (187)
  • South Africa (187)

The figures were supplied by the Department of Justice but the true number of people refused entry to Ireland is likely to be significantly higher than the 3,500 quoted. The figures refer to those rejected from 1 January 2018 until the start of December.

This is because the Border Management Unit, INIS, Department of Justice are responsible for the immigration function at Dublin Airport only and therefore are only in a position to provide records pertaining to refusals of entry to the state at Dublin Airport.

The high number of people were refused entry is mostly down to people not having the proper documentation in order. 

Some of the people were refused “leave to land”, as it’s known, because immigration officials had concerns that people were not being honest as to why they were entering the State.

This was the case for a number of Brazilians, Pakistani and a host of Eastern European countries which need visas to enter Ireland. 

Immigration officials have a number of ways to investigate if they become suspicious of someone attempting to enter the State. 

Irish officials have started to check the mobile phones of those coming into Ireland – something which is protected under the 2004 Immigration Act. 

nation1 Dept of Justice The number of people refused entry to Ireland this year. Dept of Justice



Recently, a Pakistani man took the State to court because he was caught after immigration staff checked his phone and found out he was about to take part in a sham marriage. 

Moeen Akram took the State to court saying it was unfair that immigration officials got to check his phone and scupper his plans. He also said being placed in Cloverhill Prison was against his human rights.

A judgement in the case handed down this week – one of the first of its kind in the State – stated that Moeen Akram was not entitled to any relief.

He had maintained that he was coming to Ireland to visit his brother and had a travel visa in his possession.

Akram last month failed in his bid for the Irish State to deem an immigration official looking through his phone as unlawful. He took the Garda Commissioner as well as the Minister of Justice to court for five different reasons. He failed in every way. 

The law states that “an immigration officer may, on behalf of the Minister, refuse to give a permission to a person if the officer is satisfied that the non-national’s entry into, or presence in, the State could pose a threat to national security or be contrary to public policy” and also “if there is reason to believe that the non-national intends to enter the State for purposes other than those expressed by the non-national”.

A solicitor’s firm which deals specifically with immigration law told that leave-to-land refusals have increased dramatically in the last year. One solicitor told us that the increase may be down to a “policy shift” within the Department of Justice but that the powers held by immigration officials have remained the same.

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