749. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice if it is anticipated that her Department’s regularisation scheme will increase processing delays for citizenship and IRP applications; and the steps that are being taken to mitigate this risk. [52564/21]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): The Programme for Government contains a commitment to bring forward a regularisation scheme within 18 months of the formation of the Government, to create new pathways for long-term undocumented people and their dependents. Applicants will need to meet specific criteria and these will be formed with a clear consideration of Ireland's European Union and Common Travel Area commitments. The formulation of criteria is guided by research, including the learning from previous regularisation schemes, such as the 2018 Student Scheme. Schemes operated by other EU Member States are also being considered in its development.
My Department is now working to finalise the details for the Scheme, including eligibility considerations and qualifying criteria, with a view to bringing a proposal to Government shortly to allow for the launch of the Scheme before the end of this year.
As part of the planning for the new scheme, my Department will identify staff, including new entrants, for assignment to the new unit to progress the scheme. My Department constantly reviews and reassigns its resources to avoid any undue impact on any area of existing work, such as the processing of citizenship and IRP applications, when a new scheme is put in place.