191. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the changes pending in relation to undocumented or long-time residents here that have been in this jurisdiction for a considerable time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44593/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The policy of the State remains that there are no plans to introduce a general regularisation scheme for those who are currently resident in the State without a valid residency permission, commonly referred to as “the undocumented”. Any such proposal could give rise to unpredictable and potentially very costly impacts across the full range of public and social services. Furthermore, significant implications for the operation of the Common Travel Area can arise, particularly, in the context of the UK withdrawing from the European Union. Any proposals in this regard would have to be very carefully considered.
Where the immigration authorities encounter a person in an undocumented situation, it is always open to each individual to present their case, on its individual merits, to the immigration authorities. All such cases would be carefully considered before a final decision is made, taking into account all the circumstances of the particular case.
Arising from recent jurisprudence in the Courts a Special Scheme for non-EEA Students which I recently announced was launched on 15 October 2018. The scheme applies to non-EEA persons currently resident in the State who commenced such residence lawfully under a student permission between 2005 and 2010. The scheme will permit qualifying persons to remain in the State with a right to work for 2 years initially, and, where applicants adhere to the terms of this interim permission, they will be granted a further permission to reside and work in the State for 12 months. This permission is renewable after 12 months subject to continued adherence to the conditions of the permission. Full details of the scheme are available on the INIS website.