Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
There are a number of ways in which people can regularise their status. I will arrange for those methods to be transmitted to the Senator so that she can ascertain if there is a way for this person to receive status.
I repeat that students who came to Ireland prior to 2005 have already had access to a scheme to regularise their immigration status. That has been done. I understand that somebody might not have known about it and missed out. The most recent scheme for non-EEA students was devised to address a cohort of long-term residents who arrived in the State between January 2005 and December 2010 and who, after initially holding a valid student permission, fell out of residence permission. We are doing this on a case-by-case basis.
These timed-out students who arrived in the State as students prior to 2005 were previously provided with an opportunity to regularise themselves under the 2004 student probation extension which commenced in August 2012. This scheme allowed those non-EEA nationals, who registered their student permission or commenced studies in the State on or before 31 December 2004 and who had maintained their residence permission as a student since initial registration in the State, to make an application to INIS for a further residence permission. Those who met the qualifying criteria were granted a two-year residence permission. Their status continues to be that of a student. However, during this two-year period they were allowed full access to the labour market. At the conclusion of the two-year probationary period, students were informed they would be eligible to apply for a more permanent status on condition that certain obligations to be fulfilled.
It would not be appropriate for the Minister to duplicate the most recent scheme for a group already given the opportunity to regularise their status in 2012. I will arrange for the details to be sent to the Senator. Following that, if she wants to communicate with the Minister's office, there may be ways of doing things. Not knowing the situation in this case, I cannot comment further.