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You are here:    Home  >>  Practice Areas  >>  Immigration  >>  Permission to Remain
Summary: Permission to remain is issued to non Nationals by GNIB officers on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality in the form of a stamp in the passport. It sets out the conditions on which a non-EEA national is permitted to remain in the State and for how long. The stamp also indicates the basis on which the holder is residing in the State. For example, Stamp 2 is issued to international students and imposes particular conditions on the stay of a non-EEA national. The current system can at times be complex and confusing and the type of permission to remain can be very important to an individual’s rights and entitlements. We frequently advise clients on their permission to remain and also have made several applications for a change of an individual’s status, for example from a dependancy Stamp 3 permission to Stamp 4.
Immigration Solicitors Dublin, Immigration Law Dublin, Immigration Law Specialists, Irish Immigration Law Firm Dublin, Ireland
Permission to remain in Ireland is a statement of the conditions on which a non-EEA national is permitted to remain in the State and the duration of that permission. It is issued to non Nationals by GNIB officers on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality in the form of a stamp in the passport. A residency card, also called the Certificate of Registration, is also issued for the same period of time as the stamp.
Non-EEA nationals who enter the State for a period of over 3 months must register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau at 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2, or their local immigration registration office. They will usually be directed to present at the Garda National Immigration Bureau or local immigration office within one month of entry to the State. At registration, an immigration officer will assess whether the applicant is in the State for his or her stated purpose, and is taking the appropriate steps to acquire ongoing permission to remain. On registering, the non-EEA national will be issued with the Certificate of Registration, more commonly known as the “GNIB Card”. This card provides certain information concerning the holder’s immigration status in the State, including: their Department reference number, or the “69 number”, their date of birth and date of registration. The card also indicates the basis upon which the holder is resident in the State by the allocation of a particular stamp (for example a Stamp 3, or Stamp 4). The most common categories of persons resident in the State, as evidenced by particular stamps, are as follows;
-Stamp 1: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland and to enter employment on the basis that he or she has obtained an employment permit. Stamp 1 is conditional that the holder does not enter employment unless he or she has obtained an employment permit, does not engage in any business or profession without the permission of the Minister for Justice and Equality and does not remain after a specified date.
-Stamp 2: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland for the purposes of attending a full-time course which is recognised by the Department of Education and Skills. The course must be of at least one academic year duration. With a stamp 2, the student is permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during study terms and up to 40 hours a week during holidays. Stamp 2 permission is granted to non-nationals on a conditional basis. The principle conditions of stamp 2 permission are as follows;
 • that the student attends the course of study, sits the exams and progresses on the course,
• that the student remains financially self sufficient at all times and does not become a financial burden on State resources,
• that the student maintains private health insurance cover,
• that the student leaves the State at the expiry of their stamp 2 permission (with the exception of those who have changed their permission to remain with the Minister’s consent).
-Stamp 3: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland on the basis that they are dependant on another person, most likely a family member, who is lawfully resident in the State. The holder of a stamp 3 permit is not permitted to work or claim any State welfare benefits. For example, a Stamp 3 permit can be issued to a retired person of independent means or the spouse or dependant of an employment permit holder.
-Stamp 4: the holder of this stamp is permitted to remain in Ireland until a specified date and permitted to enter employment without restriction during that period. The permit is usually granted initially for a one-year period, and on extension for another one year or three year period. It can be granted for a five-year period if acquired through a Long Term Residence Application or as an unlimited work permit. Examples of circumstances where a stamp 4 permit may be issued include:
 • Spouses of Irish nationals
• Family members of EEA nationals
• Convention and Programme refugees
• Persons who are granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain of Subsidiary Protection.
A full list of the different types of residency permits may be found at the following link:
A fee of €150 is charged in respect of most certificates of registrations issued to non-EEA nationals with effect from 23 August 2008. This fee is waived in the case of certain classes of persons, including refugees and family members of refugees, spouse or partner of an Irish national or the spouse or partner of an EEA national if residency acquired pursuant to Directive 2004/38.
Your Permission to Remain in the State should not lapse and the onus is on you to ensure that this does not happen. You should apply to your local immigration officer in good time to have your Permission to Remain in the State extended. You will be required to submit documentation evidencing the grounds upon which you were previously issued permission to remain continue to exist.
Let us advise you on your Immigration issues.
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