Since 21st March 2014, INIS have declined to accept applications for De Facto Partnership Immigration Permission in circumstances where the Applicant is present in the State on a C Visit Visa or on foot of the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme. INIS further clarify on their website that they will not accept applications from persons who are unlawfully present in the State and/or are in the asylum/protection streams at the time of making the de facto application.
We have several clients who submitted applications while they were lawfully present in the State but since their applications were submitted, their permission has expired or lapsed. We therefore recently sought clarification from INIS as to whether such applications will be processed, despite the current position of the applicant as someone not technically lawfully present in the State.
INIS have now clarified that applications for a De Facto Relationship Immigration Permission received from non EEA nationals resident in the State who were legally present in the State at the time of application will continue to have their applications processed even in instances where they allow their existing registration or immigration permission to expire.
In addition, INIS provided important clarification on the position of non visa required nationals. INIS confirmed that applications from non visa required nationals will be accepted provided that on the date the application is received the person concerned has a landing stamp endorsed on their passport permitting lawful entry to the State which is usually afforded for up to 90 days under visitor conditions.
These changes and our own experience of dealing with many of these applications confirm an increasingly restrictive approach of INIS to De Facto applications. It is our own position that cases must be considered and determined on a case by case basis and absolute restrictions on certain individuals making the application, for example those in the asylum or protection streams, are legally questionable.