IRELAND: Delays in Permit Processing and Appointment Booking

There are currently severe delays in the processing of Employment Permits and in obtaining appointments for GNIB Registration in County Dublin. There has also been a tightening up of border controls, causing longer security clearance times at ports of entry into Ireland.

Employment Permit Processing Times

There have been significant delays in the processing times for standard Employment Permit applications at the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI).

Currently standard applications are taking approximately ten weeks to be processed. This is due to a large volume of applications submitted in November 2016, mostly from the medical professions/hospitals across the country. It is also due to changes within the government department itself.

There is, however, good news for companies who have obtained Trusted Partner Status, as Employment Permits being sought under the scheme are currently being processed within two to three weeks – an improvement from the end of 2016.

Appeal applications are taking approximately 16 weeks from the date of receipt by the DJEI, and applications for GNIB Stamp 4 Support Letters are currently taking approximately four weeks.

These timelines should be taken into account when proposing start dates to new employees or assignees coming to work in Ireland. For all new applicants, we would advise that you make clients aware of these timelines from the outset so as to manage expectations of the process.

GNIB Appointments at GNIB office, Burgh Quay, Dublin

Currently there are long delays in obtaining appointments for GNIB Residence Cards. CCR recommends that you schedule your appointment well in advance (approximately six to ten weeks) so as to ensure that you obtain an appointment within the required timeframe allocated by the DJEI.

For GNIB renewals, GNIB card holders should make an appointment ten weeks in advance of the expiry date of their current GNIB Card. GNIB Cards should be renewed within two weeks of their expiry so as to avoid issues at renewal.

For first-time registrations, once employees have been granted their permit and are aware of their approximate entry dates to Ireland, an appointment for their GNIB registration should be arranged if they will be residing in Dublin.

Stricter Security at Points of Entry

Recent news reports have revealed that Irish airline staff members have been involved in human trafficking at Dublin Airport. This has had a knock-on effect on all persons traveling to Ireland, with more in-depth checks and scrutiny being enforced by immigration officers at all borders and ports of entry.

As a result, all assignees should have their documents at hand when arriving at their port of entry so as to make clear their reason for travelling to or from Ireland. It is equally important that assignees carry with them the full and correct documents required to complete the GNIB Registration process at their local Immigration Office.

Please note that the main office in Cork, at Anglesea Street Garda Station will not accept temporary proof of residence which shows residence less than three months.

Our advice

Employers should factor into their planning the long processing times for standard Employment Permits. Assignees should book appointments for new or renewal GNIB registration at the Burgh Quay, Dublin office six to ten weeks in advance.

For further advice and information regarding Irish immigration, please email us at

Contact Newland Chase