Belfast Telegraph

5,000 people were refused entry to Ireland last year

95% of those who were refused at the port of entry, were returned to their point of origin.

Justice Minister for the Republic of Ireland Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)
Justice Minister for the Republic of Ireland Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Aine McMahon PA

More than 5,000 people were refused entry at Irish ports, airports and the Northern Ireland Border in 2018, according to the Department of Justice.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan published Immigration in Ireland: Annual Review 2018, providing the key statistics on all aspects of immigration in Ireland on Thursday.

It reported 95% of those who were refused at the port of entry, were returned to their point of origin.

The Immigration Act 2004 sets out 11 grounds on which a person can be refused permission to enter the State, including if an immigration officer believes they intend to work in Ireland but do not have an employment permit.

They can also be refused if they do not have a passport or have a previous conviction for a serious offence.

Meanwhile, the number of people from EU and non-EU countries legally living here increased last year.

Some 140,533 visa applications were made in 2018, a 12% annual increase, while 121,220 visas were granted.

Mr Flanagan said: “We continue to see strong growth in the numbers of people who want to visit our beautiful and welcoming country.

“Coming from a variety of countries across the world, they are contributing to the diversity of our nation and to our economic, social and cultural development.”

The number of non-EEA nationals living in Ireland also increased last year by 11% to almost 143,000 people.

Citizens from India, China and Russia are the top three nationalities outside of Europe to request visas to Ireland last year – followed by Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, Philippines, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Most people with permission to remain in the State are working or studying, according to the Department of Justice.

Much of increased demand is due to Ireland’s strong economic performance and the introduction of new flight destinations to and from Ireland, the report noted.

In 2018, almost 7,000 new citizens received their certificates of naturalisation at ceremonies in Killarney and Dublin – 8,225 certificates were issued in total during the year.

The top 10 nationalities of people naturalised in 2018 were: Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Latvia, China and Brazil.

PA

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