118. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of his plans to introduce a family reunification humanitarian admission programme as announced in November 2017. [8951/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On 14 November last, together with my colleague, the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton T.D., I announced a new scheme of family reunification in support of refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and their families.
I would like to emphasise that this new scheme is aimed at assisting family members of all refugees from established conflict zones and not just refugees from Syria. This new Family Reunification Humanitarian Admission Programme (FRHAP) will form part of the Government’s commitments under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). The Family Reunification Humanitarian Admission Programme (FRHAP) will see, over a two year period, up to 530 immediate family members of refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection from established conflict zones come to Ireland as part of our overall commitment to accept 4,000 persons under the IRPP.
This humanitarian admission programme is an initiative of the Government for the benefit of the families of those in receipt of international protection in Ireland and is not part of any EU programme. The FRHAP will be operated under Ministerial discretionary powers and it will be in addition to the family reunification provisions provided for in the International Protection Act 2015. Officials in my Department are in consultation with the UNHCR and other stakeholders on developing the full operational details of the programme.
I will also continue to apply my discretion in the area of family reunification for those outside of the International Protection process in the ways described in the Non-EEA Policy Document on Family Reunification and operated by INIS.
The design phase of the FRHAP programme is at an advanced stage and additional details on the operation of the programme will be announced on the websites of the Department of Justice and Equality (www.justice.ie) and the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (www.inis.gov.ie) in the coming period. I will update the Deputy in due course.