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Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999

Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 / Notice of Intention to Deport

Cases to be dealt with under the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended)

Any person who is formally refused a protection status by the Minister for Justice, under the Refugee Act 1996 and/or the European Union (Subsidiary Protection) Regulations 2013, and any person who otherwise becomes illegally resident in the State, is issued with a notification of intention to deport as provided for under Section 3 (3) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended).

This notification, which is also sent to the person’s legal representative if known, advises such persons of the options open to them at that point in time which are to

  1. leave the State voluntarily,
  2. consent to deportation or
  3. to submit, within a period of 15 working days, written representations to the Minister for Justice setting out reasons as to why they should not have a Deportation Order made in respect of them.


All cases dealt with under the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999 (as amended) are considered on their individual merits. In each individual case, the representations (if any) submitted are examined having regard to the eleven factors set out in Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act, 1999 (as amended) with these factors being as follows:

  • the age of the person,
  • the duration of residence in the State of the person,
  • the family and domestic circumstances of the person,
  • the nature of the person’s connection with the State, if any,
  • the employment (including self-employment) record of the person,
  • the employment (including self-employment) prospects of the person,
  • the character and conduct of the person both within and (where relevant and ascertainable) outside the State (including any criminal convictions),
  • humanitarian considerations,
  • any representations duly made by or on behalf of the person,
  • the common good and
  • considerations of national security and public policy.

Following the consideration of any such case, including a specific consideration on the position of the person vis a vis the prohibition of refoulement, a decision is made by the Minister for Justice as to whether the person in question should become the subject of a Deportation Order or if, instead, Permission to Remain temporarily in the State should be granted.

If granted Permission to Remain

Where a decision is made to grant Permission to Remain in the State, this decision is conveyed in writing to the person in question and to his/her legal representative, if known.

This communication also advises the person in question of the conditions attaching to their permission to remain in the State, the circumstances under which this permission can be revoked or not renewed, the means by which they can become ‘registered’ in the State and the process involved in applying for the renewal of such permission.

If the subject of a Deportation Order

Where a person becomes the subject of a Deportation Order, this Order will be served on the person in question.

Any such Deportation Order ‘service notification’ will advise the person in question of the legal requirement that they

  • ‘present’ themselves at the Offices of the Garda National Immigration Bureau on a specified date and time in order to make arrangements for their deportation from the State. From this point on, the enforcement of the Deportation Order becomes an operational matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

A similar process applies to persons served with a Dublin III Regulation Transfer Order or a Removal Order.

Any person, be they subject to a Deportation Order, a Dublin III Regulation Transfer Order or a Removal Order, who fails to

  • ‘present’ on such an occasion is deemed to be evading their deportation/transfer/removal and, as such, will immediately become liable to arrest and detention for the purposes of effecting their deportation/transfer/removal from the State.

Voluntary Returns

One of the options open to persons faced with the prospect of having a Deportation Order issued in respect of them is that they can seek to return voluntarily to their country of origin. The clear benefit of such an arrangement is that it enables such a person to return to the State at a future date if they establish a legal basis for doing so whereas a person who is the subject of a Deportation Order is legally obliged to leave the State and thereafter remain outside the State.


IOM Ireland provides a Voluntary Return programme for those who wish to return home voluntarily but do not have the means, including the necessary documentation, to do so. (www.ireland.iom.int) IOM Ireland can assist with obtaining the necessary travel documentation, as well as covering the financial costs of the travel from Ireland to the country of origin. In addition, a small reintegration grant is available to all returnees to help cover the costs of an income-generating activity, such as education; professional training and/or business set-up.

Immigration & Visa Services Ireland

Immigration & Visa Services Ireland can assist applicants in navigating the requirement process of appealing a decision to be removed from the State. Book a Conultation today to discuss the application criteria.

Confidential enquiries regarding Voluntary Returns can be made via ;

Freephone 1800 406 406 or in person at IOM 116 Lower Baggot Street Dublin 2.

Telephone (from outside Ireland) +353 1 6760655 Website: www.ireland.iom.int

The Department of Justice also directly assists persons who wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin by providing administrative and other supports to persons requesting such assistance.

Enquiries regarding Voluntary Returns can be addressed to :

Telephone (within Ireland), 01- 6167700 or *Lo-Call 1890 551 500 (Select Option 3 then Option 1)

Telephone (from outside Ireland), + 353 1 6167700

This Helpline service is available 10.00 am to 12.30 pm each Wednesday mornings, excluding Bank and Public Holidays.

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