Some non-EU migrants can struggle to prove their identity, which presents difficulties for Irish authorities who are often required to verify a migrant’s identity multiple times in the migration process. Establishing identity is necessary to facilitate entry into Ireland, grant residency or to return migrants to their country of origin following a rejected asylum application.
New ESRI research published today (6 December) is the first study of its kind examining Ireland’s migration-related procedures and systems that are designed to answer the questions: ‘Who is this person?’ and ‘Is this person who they say they are?’
Struggles to prove identity
Failure to verify identity can lead to rejection of a migrant’s application for a visa or for residency in Ireland. Without adequate documentation, Irish authorities may face difficulties returning an asylum seeker whose application is rejected.
There are multiple reasons a migrant may struggle to produce documentation that verifies their identity:
The involvement of several Irish authorities is required in the process to establish identity, which takes place multiple times in the migration process.
Increasingly, the process requires the sharing and storing of biometric and other data between Irish authorities and with other countries, which requires a layer of oversight and legal protection.
Samantha Arnold, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ESRI, commented:
Establishing and verifying identity is critical to facilitating the movement of people into Ireland, whether that is for family reunification, study, work, or other reasons. It is a complex task, requiring the expertise and cooperation of a range of institutions up to, and including, the Minister for Justice and Equality. Several EU member states have a dedicated central competence centre for establishing identity, which serves to reduce the workload involved and also provide supports for migrants who have arrived without adequate documentation.
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.