Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Immigration Policy

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
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125. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality when she anticipates being able to open the proposed scheme for the regularisation of undocumented persons living in Ireland. [60696/21]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Last week, the Government approved my proposal for a once-in-a-generation scheme to regularise thousands of undocumented migrants and their families who are living in Ireland.

The scheme will enable eligible applicants to remain and reside in the State and to regularise their residency status. It will bring some much-needed certainty and peace of mind to thousands of people who are already living here and making a valuable contribution to our society and the economy, many of whom may be very vulnerable due to their current immigration circumstances.

People 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 children on the date the Scheme opens for applications;

- Be granted an 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 citizenship by way of naturalisation.

Those with an existing Deportation Order can apply, if they meet the minimum undocumented residence requirement. People with expired student permissions will also be able to apply.

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.

The scheme will include a parallel process to implement the recommendation included in the report of the Expert Advisory Group, led by Dr. Catherine Day, by allowing international protection applicants who have an outstanding application for international protection and have been in the asylum process for a minimum of two years to apply.

The scheme was developed following a consultation process with key stakeholders including NGOs that work directly with people and families who are in vulnerable immigration-related circumstances, as well as inter-Departmental and operational stakeholders.

The time-limited scheme will open for online applications in January 2022 and applications will be accepted for six months. Further details regarding the qualifying criteria and the opening date for the scheme will be published on my Department's Irish Immigration website (www.irishimmigration.ie) in due course.


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