Establishing identity of non-EU nationals in Irish migration processes
This report has been peer reviewed prior to publication. The authors are solely responsible for the content and the views expressed.
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This is the first comprehensive study to examine and map the processes in place for establishing the identities of applicants for: short- and long-stay visas; residence and visitor permissions; international protection and permission to remain; and in relation to persons subject to a deportation order who have exhausted the asylum process. This study also looks at the process of establishing applicants’ identities at the point of access to the national territory. It outlines in detail policy and practice with input from a variety of stakeholders. Its purpose is to provide an evidence base for national and EU policymakers, researchers, practitioners working with non-EEA nationals as well as the general public. This study examines the approaches to establishing identity through the lens of two different and related tasks: identification and identity verification. This study seeks to answer the questions: ‘Who is this person?’ and ‘Is this person who they say they are?’ The temporal scope of analysis is January 2012 to December 2016. The study highlights that establishing identity in migration procedures is a complex task, involving a number of different State actors. Several different bodies are involved in establishing the identity of migrants, from the point of application for a visa in the migrant’s home country to obtaining a residence permit in Ireland. This study outlines in detail each process and State body involved in establishing identity in the migration process in Ireland. The study finds key differences in policy in Ireland when compared to practice across the EU. Within the EU, establishing the identity of persons in legal migration channels such as short- and long-stay visas and residence permits is partially governed by law and policy at EU level, some of which governs movement within the Schengen area. Ireland lies outside the Schengen area. In Ireland, establishing identity is largely governed by national law and policy. Ireland and the United Kingdom however co-operate closely, including through visa data sharing, on jointly securing the external borders of the Common Travel Area (CTA). The implications of Brexit on these arrangements are unknown. The study highlights that establishing identity is considered an issue within the framework for all migration procedures but is particularly challenging in the context of international protection applicants many of whom do not present with identification, and in returns procedures for failed asylum seekers.