The Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, has announced that immigration permissions due to expire between now and 20 May will be automatically extended for two months. 

The registration office in Burgh Quay in Dublin will close for the coming weeks due to the Covid-19 outbreak and anyone with an appointment scheduled there before 20 May will be contacted by Immigration Service Delivery. 

These new measures will also apply to immigration registrations and renewals taking place outside of Dublin in local garda stations by the local Immigration Officers, which will free up members of An Garda Síochána for other operational duties.

Announcing the new temporary arrangements, Minister Flanagan said: "I want to assure people whose immigration permissions are due to expire shortly that your legal status in the country will be maintained.

"If your immigration or international protection permission will expire between 20 March 2020 and 20 May 2020, I am granting you an automatic renewal for two months. This renewal is on the same basis as your existing permission and the same conditions will continue to apply.

"We are taking this step at this extraordinary time to ensure your safety. High-demand public offices make applying social distancing more difficult. We also want to ensure that you are not undertaking any non-essential travel to attend appointments at this time.

"This is an exceptional measure in response to exceptional circumstances. If this decision was not made there is a danger that you could become unlawful in the country through no fault of your own. I am acting now to ensure this does not happen.

"We will keep the situation under active review as matters evolve in our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Minister Flanagan urged everyone to closely follow HSE guidance and to consult the HSE website for up to date information on protecting themselves, their families and the wider community at this very difficult time.

The new measures will apply to three primary categories of persons: those who hold a current valid permission; those awaiting first registration; and those on short-stay visas who may be unable to leave the state due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.