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NEW SCORECARD APPROACH INTRODUCED FOR CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS FROM JANUARY 2022

On the 31st December 2021, the Department of Justice announced that it would be introducing a scorecard approach for supporting documents that are required for citizenship applications, to prove required residency and establish identity.

The scorecard approach, which is applicable from the 1st of January 2022, is intended to clarify the information that applicants are intended to provide to establish their identity and required residency when applying for Irish citizenship.

Previously, applicants were required to provide a certain number of proofs of residency for each year of the period of residence claimed on their application form. Under the new approach, applicants will now need to reach a score of 150 points in each of the years proof of residency is required. A certain proof of residency will have a definite point value that has been predetermined by the Department.

Furthermore, an applicant will be need to provide sufficient documentation to accumulate 150 points to establish their identity. In the circumstances where an applicant is not able to meet the 150 points standard, the Department has indicated that the applicant will need to engage with the Citizenship Division to provide reasons as to why this is the case.

In the announcement, the Department highlighted the importance that proofs of identity and residence hold for a citizenship application, and confirmed that insufficient documentation can lead to an application being deemed ineligible.

An applicant is no longer required to submit their original passport with their citizenship application; however, the Minister reserves the right to request original passports from an applicant at any stage in the process.

The full announcement can be read here.

If you or a family member have queries about your naturalization application, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

AFGHAN ADMISSION PROGRAMME TO BEGIN ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FROM 16TH DECEMBER 2021

On the 14th December 2021, Minister McEntee confirmed that the Afghan Admission Programme will open for applications this Thursday, 16 December 2021.

The scheme provides a pathway for Afghan nationals who were legally resident in Ireland before 1st September 2021 to apply for a visa for up to four family members who are in Afghanistan, or one of five neighbouring countries: Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Applicant will be responsible for providing their family members with accommodation in Ireland.

Applications will be accepted for an 8-week period, up to 10th February 2022, at which point no more applications will be accepted. There are reported to be 500 places available.

Although the scheme has undoubtedly been welcomed by many, some have voiced concern that the 500 places quoted to be available is too few, and that the Minister should be flexible with the criteria of only four family members per sponsor.

In a statement by the Department of Justice that confirmed that the scheme will open tomorrow, 16th December 2021, Minister McEntee stated;

 

In processing applications, we will be prioritising those who are especially vulnerable and whose freedom and safety is most at risk, like older people, children, single female parents, single women and girls and people with disabilities. We will also give priority to people whose previous employment exposes them to greater risk, for example UN and EU employees and people who worked for civil society organisations.

 

The application form and additional guidelines for completing an application will be available on the Department’s Irish immigration website (www.irishimmigration.ie) from today, 16th December 2021.

The full statement from the Department of Justice can be read here.

OBSTACLES FACING STAMP 1G HOLDERS IN RENEWING IMMIGRATION PERMISSION

The Dublin Inquirer published an article on 3rd February 2021 which set out the obstacles faced by the holders of Stamp 1G immigration permission.

A Stamp 1G is often given to graduates who are non-EEA nationals and who have completed their studies in Ireland. Those with a Bachelor’s Degree generally receive a 12-month permission, while those with a Master’s Degrees may receive a 24-month permission.

Prior to the expiry of their permission, Stamp 1G holders must find a job that requires an employment permit if they want to stay in Ireland on a long-term basis.

While it is possible to apply to the Department of Justice to renew your Stamp 1G, there is limited guidance as to what evidence is needed in order to be successful. In general, a person must either show that they found a job or took “appropriate steps” to find one prior to the expiry of their permission.

This requirement causes significant difficulties for Stamp 1G holders, who face the extremely difficult task of finding an employer who is willing to sponsor an employment permit for them, and to take on all of the additional administrative work this entails.

The Dublin Inquirer interviewed a number of Stamp 1G holders, who stated that in their experience, the majority of employers are not willing to hire them due to their immigration status, resulting in their applications being throw out or job offers being withdrawn.

This causes many Stamp 1G holders to accept lower-wage jobs in order to stay in Ireland, rather than holding out for better work that is related to their field of study.

Another individual interviewed by the Dublin Inquirer discussed the worry and uncertainty he experiences, explaining how he spends the majority of his time applying for jobs and keeping a record of his applications and rejections to present to the Department of Justice.

Many Stamp 1G holders have invested years of their time and money studying in Ireland with the intention of residing and building their careers here. However, upon graduation they are faced with significant obstacles in doing so.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice was quoted in the article as saying there are no current plans to amend the renewal process for Stamp 1G holders.

The full article can be read here.

https://dublininquirer.com/2021/02/03/graduates-from-elsewhere-face-an-extra-anxious-job-search

If you require legal advices regarding your stamp 1G permission, please do not hesitate to contact our office.