Refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries in Ireland receive a ‘Stamp 4’ residence permit. For refugees this grants permanent residency and an Irish Residence Permit (formerly the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card) is issued firstly for one year and then renewed for three years renewable. Refugees are able to apply for naturalisation after three years from the date of their asylum application (see Naturalisation).
Subsidiary protection beneficiaries also receive a ‘Stamp 4’ residence permit. This allows them to stay in Ireland for a specified period of time which is normally of three years’ renewable duration. They have a right to apply for naturalisation after five years from the date they were granted subsidiary protection.
For renewal of their residence card, refugees do not require a letter from the ISD. However, subsidiary protection beneficiaries do require a letter from ISD to receive a further three years of stay in Ireland. No further information was available on any difficulties related to this process. In 2016, the Department of Justice introduced a new online booking system to address the long queues that migrants living in Dublin faced outside the ISD office at Burgh Quay to register for or renew their residence card. However, issues are still being reported using the online booking system, although a set of software fixes were introduced in September 2018 to prevent the booking of block appointments with internet bots. The Department of Justice announced in 2018 that there would be a tender to replace this system but by the end of 2019 it stated that the tender wouldn’t be advertised until the New Year.
In June 2020, an online immigration permission renewal system was launched. The system was initially made available to students living and studying in Dublin and has subsequently been extended to all applicants living in the Dublin area. Under the new online system, applicants must complete their renewal form online, upload copies of supporting documents and pay the applicable fee. It should be noted that applicants living outside of Dublin must still appear in person at their local Garda station in order to renew their immigrations status, while first-time registrations must also be done in person, regardless of where the applicant lives.
A revised online appointment booking system was established in December 2020 for applicants living outside of Dublin. However, following the implementation of further restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, refugee and subsidiary protection beneficiaries, whose permission to reside in the State was due to expire between 21 January 2021 and 20 April 2021, received automatic renewal of their permission to reside in the State on the same basis as the existing permission and with the same conditions attached.  This was the sixth extension of immigration permissions implemented since the outset of the pandemic in March 2020.