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I am currently living in Ireland with a GNIB Stamp 2 permit, which will expire in about a month. Before this, I was given permission to stay for three months, but quickly got the GNIB card after a month or so (having been able to book an appointment with a lot of time).

I will be leaving for 10 days to another EU country before the expiration date and returning after the expiration date.

There are two possible scenarios bad scenarios for me at this moment:

  1. I may get an appointment before I leave but the new IRP will arrive after I left (there's a 10 day wait).

  2. I may not get an appointment before I leave, so my GNIB will expire while I am away, hopefully with an appointment booked after the return date.

On the other hand, INIS (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service) has now issued a new permit, the IRP (Irish Residence Permit), and their webpage reads (emphasis mine)

Do not apply for a new IRP if you currently hold a valid GNIB card. Wait until your GNIB card expires (or is lost or stolen) and then apply as normal.

Question. Does this mean there is some allowed period of time after the GNIB expires where it is legal to stay in the country? If not, what measures should I take, given the possible scenarios above, so that when I return to the country I do not have a problem with INIS at the airport?

Note: I am a Latin American citizen that does not require a visa to enter (or reenter) Ireland, and can stay (if allowed) up to three months before requiring a permit. I hold a scholarship from Ireland's main college for the following two years (hence the Stamp 2), meaning they pay for the fees and provide me with a stipend.

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It is not legal to be resident in Ireland without an up-to-date residence permission. This is based on the stamps in your passport, not your possession of a GNIB card or IRP. That guidance on the website merely means that you don't need to immediately apply for an IRP if you have a valid GNIB card.

When you do renew your registration, they'll put a new stamp in your passport on the spot, and you can show that to the immigration officer when you re-enter. (They can also access that information on their computer system, of course.)

If you haven't renewed yet, they'll see that your leave to remain has expired, and give you a temporary entry stamp with a (quite generous, IIRC) deadline to renew the registration.

One reason you might want to renew early is that gaps in your registration don't count towards the residence time requirements for eventual long-term residence or citizenship.

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