Scheme for long-term undocumented migrants now open for applications
- Scheme is open for online applications for those who don’t have a current permission to reside in Ireland
- Applications will be accepted for six months until 31 July 2022
- Primary applicants must have a period of four years undocumented residence in the State, or three years in the case of those with children
- Successful applicants will receive immigration permission, access to the labour market and can begin path to citizenship.
31 January 2022
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, TD, has today opened the scheme to regularise thousands of undocumented migrants and their families who are living in Ireland.
Online applications for the scheme will be accepted from 10:00am today for six months until 31 July 2022, when the scheme will close. Applications can be made online at https://inisonline.jahs.ie
The scheme will enable applicants, and their eligible dependents where the specific criteria is met, to remain and reside in the State and to regularise their residency status.
Opening the scheme, Minister McEntee said,
“I am delighted to now be able to open the once-in-a-generation scheme for long-term undocumented migrants and their family members living in Ireland. The scheme has been welcomed by those who have been contributing to our society for years but were seeking a way of regularising their status here in Ireland.
“I firmly believe this scheme will improve the lives of thousands of people across the country who contribute to our society, enrich our culture and work in our economy but unfortunately still live in the legal shadows.
“People come to Ireland to make a better life for themselves and their families and they can find themselves undocumented for many reasons.
“This 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.”
Primary applicants who are eligible under the scheme will:
- Have a period of 4 years residence in the State without an immigration permission, or 3 years in the case of those with minor children, immediately prior to the date on which the scheme opens for applications;
- Be permitted to include a spouse, civil partner or defacto partner and eligible children aged 18 – 23 years who must have been living with the principal applicant for 2 years immediately prior to the date on which the Scheme opens for applications;
- Be granted a Stamp 4 immigration permission that allows for unrestricted access to the labour market; and
- Have years of residence with that permission reckonable for the purposes of pursuing Irish citizenship by way of naturalisation.
Those with an existing Deportation Order can apply, if they meet the minimum undocumented residence requirement. Applicants must meet standards regarding good character and criminal record/behaviour and not pose a threat to the State. Having convictions for minor offences will not, by itself, result in disqualification.
People with expired student permissions will also be able to apply, if they meet the minimum undocumented residence requirement.
Minister McEntee added,
“People who are in an undocumented situation are burdened with a great deal of stress and uncertainty regarding their position in society. Unfortunately, they also may be more vulnerable to exploitation due to their precarious legal situation.
“In an effort to reach those migrant communities most likely to benefit from the scheme, my Department will engage in a targeted communications campaign during the six month application window.
“The support of key organisations working directly with people and families who find themselves in these circumstances will also be crucial in encouraging people to come forward and participate in the scheme.”
Further details regarding the qualifying criteria, the required documentation, and how to apply for the scheme are available on the Department's immigration website at www.irishimmigration.ie/regularisation-of-long-term-undocumented-migrant-scheme
As previously announced by the Minister, international protection applicants who have an outstanding application for international protection and have been in the asylum process for a minimum of 2 years will have a separate application process. The International Protection Office will contact potentially eligible applicants shortly with further details.
Notes for editors
- There is no reliable data on the number of undocumented persons in the State but studies suggest there could be up to 17,000 undocumented persons including up to 3,000 children and that many could be in employment, although likely low paid employment.
- The scheme is open to those who do not have a current permission to reside in Ireland e.g. they arrived illegally or their permission expired/was withdrawn years ago.
- Children under age 18 years must have been living with the principal applicant prior to 11 January 2022, and continue to be living with them at date of application.
- A fee of €700 will generally apply to family unit applications to assist in recovering the cost of administration. Children up to 23 years, living with their parent(s), can be included in a family unit application. A fee of €550 will apply to individuals’ applications. The International Protection specific scheme strand would be fee exempt at both application stage and at registration.
- All successful applicants over the age of 18 will be required to pay a fee of €300 when they are registering their permission at their local immigration office.
- As the scheme is largely aimed at those who may be economically and socially marginalised as a result of their undocumented status, there will be no requirement for applicants to demonstrate that they would not be a financial burden on the State.
- Applicants must meet standards regarding good character and criminal record/behaviour and not pose a threat to the State. Having convictions for minor offences will not, of itself, result in disqualification.
- This scheme will not create any new entitlements to family reunification. Those who are successful under this scheme may be eligible at a future date under the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification.