Further to the announcement earlier in the year of a temporary suspension of the processing of visa/preclearance applications, with the exception of a specified group of priority/emergency applications (see GMS Flash Alert 2021-139, 10 May 2021), Ireland’s Immigration Service Delivery has announced1 that two new categories have been added to the priority/emergency list of visas being processed at this time.


Employers should note that visa-required employees awaiting their visas to Ireland may be able to process their visa applications if they fall under one of the two newly-announced additional categories of emergency/priority visas.  The two new emergency/priority categories are as follows: (i) travel to Ireland for essential family reunification and (ii) those who have been granted an employment permit and are travelling for essential business or employment purposes.  

Additional Categories of Emergency/Priority Visas

This update will affect employees who are visa-required nationals of the listed countries2 and fall into one of the two below categories:

  • Visa-required national employees who are due to commence employment in Ireland and are travelling for essential business or employment purposes and have been issued with an employment permit by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. 
  • Visa-required nationals seeking to join family members in Ireland, which will include all Long Stay ‘D’ Visa join family applications (including visa-required family members of Irish nationals and persons exercising free movement under the EU Directive), and pre-clearance applications for: De Facto Partners of an Irish National; De Facto Partners of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non-EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement; and non-EEA family members looking to join a U.K. national in Ireland.

Visa applications will continue to be processed for visa-required nationals who fall into the other categories of priority/emergency group per guidance issued by the Immigration Service Delivery, which includes workers exercising certain occupations including health-care workers, frontier workers, and posted workers.


Individuals and their employers should be aware of these changes as employees that fall within the new emergency/priority visa group will now be able to proceed with their visa applications for travel to Ireland.

For advice on this changing situation, please contact your local qualified immigration counsel or the Corporate Immigration and Employment Law Team with KPMG in Ireland (see the Contacts section).

* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ireland.


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GMS Flash Alert is a Global Mobility Services publication of the KPMG LLP Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.