Minister McEntee issues first positive decisions under the Regularisation Scheme for Long-Term Undocumented Migrants
- Approximately 5,000 applications have been made so far under the 2 strands of the regularisation scheme
- First permission letters have issued to successful applicants in recent days
- Minister encourages all those eligible to apply to do so
4 April 2022
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD, has today announced that she has issued the first positive decisions under the Regularisation Scheme for Long-Term Undocumented Migrants, just two months after the Scheme opened for applications.
To date, approximately 5,000 applications have been made to the two strands of the Scheme – the main scheme for people in a long-term undocumented situation, and the international protection strand for people who have been in the asylum process for a minimum of 2 years. Around 250 positive decisions have been made under the two strands in recent days. Processing of all other applications remains ongoing.
Welcoming the positive start to the Scheme, Minister McEntee said,
“We’ve seen a very positive level of engagement with the Scheme since I opened it for applications at the end of January.
We committed to making the online application process as simple and as straightforward as possible and because of this we are now in a position to issue the first positive decisions just two months in.
Permission letters have started to arrive in homes across the country with life changing news for those receiving them and their families. I want to congratulate everyone who has received a letter and to thank them for trusting us and coming forward to regularise their position in the State.
This is just the start and we’ll see more decisions and permissions issuing in the coming weeks.”
The Minister also outlined her plans to encourage more people to apply;
“It’s very important that people who are eligible don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply to this Scheme. We want to build on this early momentum and continue raising awareness of the Scheme. My Department will run a targeted communications campaign in the coming weeks to reach out to migrant communities likely to benefit from the Scheme to encourage them to consider applying.
We are continuing to engage with the NGO community and other stakeholders who have played and will continue to play a key role in building confidence in the Scheme among the more vulnerable members of those migrant communities.
I hope seeing these first positive decisions issuing will encourage more people to apply for what is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity to regularise their status in the State.”
Minister McEntee encourages all undocumented migrants who are eligible to apply for the main scheme to do so before the closing date of 31 July 2022. Applications can be made online at https://inisonline.jahs.ie.
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.
International protection applicants who have an outstanding application for international protection and have been in the asylum process for a minimum of 2 years have a separate application process. The International Protection Office of the Department has written to approximately 4,000 potentially eligible applicants inviting them to apply. Over 1,300 people from this cohort have applied so far.
The International Protection strand of the Scheme is open for applications until 7 August 2022. Further information can be found on the website of the International Protection Office at: www.ipo.gov.ie/en/ipo/pages/whatsnew.
Notes for editors
- Primary applicants who are eligible under the main Regularisation Scheme will:
o 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;
o 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;
o Be granted a Stamp 4 immigration permission that allows for unrestricted access to the labour market; and
o 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.
- There is no reliable data on the number of undocumented persons in the State. The MRCI estimates that 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.