The current study is part of an EU-wide study intended to promote understanding of temporary and circular migration by Third Country nationals. Most migration policy development in Ireland has been related to migration that is ultimately viewed as temporary. Ireland’s policy decision to prioritise migration from the enlarged EU in 2004 facilitated the entry of workers to a tight labour market. Emigration data now show that this population is highly mobile and has responded quickly to changed economic conditions by moving on to other destinations.
Knowledge about circular and temporary migration patterns is limited by the fact that available data sources do not record exits from the State. It is not known how long people who enter the State as temporary migrants stay, or how many make Ireland their permanent home.
Ireland has no immediate plans to introduce formal circular migration programmes. However, there have been significant recent policy developments relevant to temporary migrants, in particular, student migrants are a group for which further policy development is planned.
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