538. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the procedure to be followed by a person (details supplied) and their family to regularise their status; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54545/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): My Department has no record of having received an immigration application on behalf of the persons referred to by the Deputy. If they are in the State without an immigration permission, they must engage with the authorities if they wish to be permitted to remain here legally.
As the Deputy may be aware, the Government committed to introducing new pathways to status regularisation within 18 months of its formation. My Justice Plan 2021 contains a commitment to create new pathways for long-term undocumented people and their dependents who must meet specified criteria to regularise their status.
The scheme will provide an opportunity for those who meet its criteria to remain and reside in the State and to become part of mainstream Irish society rather than living on its margins. Successful applicants will receive an immigration permission, access to the labour market and will be able to begin the process of becoming Irish citizens, should they wish to do so. The objective is to ensure that the scheme is as inclusive as possible and my Department has conducted a targeted consultation on the proposed scheme which has provided a valuable opportunity to hear from those affected by the proposed approach to the scheme.
Following the consultation process, my Department continues to work to finalise the details, including eligibility considerations and qualifying criteria, and also to design and manage the practical aspects to enable applications to be made and processed as efficiently as possible. The specific qualifying criteria will be guided by, among other things, the learning from previous regularisation schemes, such as the 2018 Student Scheme, and schemes operated by other EU Member States.
We are now working to finalise the details for the scheme, including eligibility considerations and qualifying criteria, with a view to bringing a proposal to Government and to publish the details of the scheme before the end of this year.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility at INISOireachtasMail@justice.ie, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Question process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in the cases where the response is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.