Ministers of Religion and Lay Volunteers

For the past several years ministers of religion and lay volunteers have been permitted, on a case by case basis, to enter and reside in the State where there was a demonstrated need for their services.á While there was a policy in place that the person concerned should not remain for longer than 3 years that policy was not strictly enforced.á The immigration authorities will continue to facilitate ministers of religion and lay volunteers where there is a bona fide purpose for their residing here.á However, as and from 1 January 2011 the arrangements below will operate in order to bring clarity to the position.á

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The arrangements (set out in the links below) will take effect as and from 1 January 2011 and will clarify in what circumstances a person may seek to come to the State as a minister of religionáor lay volunteer, the supporting evidence required from the person and the conditions which will apply to the persons concerned.

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The information and documentation set out under these arrangements to obtain entry permission or permission to remain may not be the only evidence that is required.á The immigration authorities reserve the right to request further information /documentation as evidence of the bona fides of each particular case and will take into account all known information and relevant factors including previous immigration history.

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If a person is refused registration by the Garda National Immigration Bureau he/she may write to the General Immigration Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 to have their case reviewed.á

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NB:áá It should be noted that the arrangements set out here reflect the current policy.

Immigration policies are kept under on-going review and are subject to change at a future date at the discretion of the Minister.

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Important Note:á

It is the responsibility of every non-EEA national to keep their immigration permission up to date at all times.

á15 December 2010

Additional links

For details on the various topics available in this section, please select from the links below