Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
It is not possible for my Department to quantify the number of undocumented migrants living in the State. Such persons ordinarily do not make themselves known to officials of the Immigration Service. As the Deputy will appreciate, irregular migration, by its very nature, is clandestine. It is not uncommon for people who are here illegally to go to extreme lengths to avoid contact with the authorities. Consequently, it is inherently difficult to quantify the extent of irregular migration.
It is important to emphasise, that when it comes to people living here illegally, the only option for regularisation is on a case-by-case basis. Ireland along with other Member States of the EU, has committed, under the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum (2008), to a case-by-case approach as opposed to mass regularisation.
In all cases, people must engage with the authorities if they wish to be permitted to remain here legally. I would encourage any person who is resident in the State without permission to contact my Department or their local immigration office and to take all appropriate steps to regularise their status.
405. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who successfully availed of the 2018 scheme for regularising undocumented migrants who arrive here as students; the number of unsuccessful applicants for same; the overall cost of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3290/20]
I can confirm that 3,116 applications were received under the Special Scheme for Students which was launched on 15 October 2018 and closed on 20 January 2019. To date, decisions have been made on 3,106 cases of which 2,253 have been granted and 853 refused.
Staff were reassigned from within the Department to process applications under the scheme so therefore no additional costs arose.
Details of the Scheme are available at the following website address: