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DRAFT PROPOSALS FOR SCHEME FOR UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE RELEASED BY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

The Minister for Justice has outlined the draft proposals for the regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants to the Cabinet today.

The Minister outlined that consultation is to begin on the remit and terms of the scheme.

It is planned that there will be final Government approval on the scheme by September this year.

The Minister outlined that it is envisaged that the scheme will be open to people who have lived in the State for a period of four years without a valid immigration permission, or a period of three years for persons with minor children. There will be an assessment of character and conduct as part of the application process.

It is planned that successful applicants will be issued with an immigration permission that allows a right to work and that will be reckonable for immigration purposes, providing a pathway to naturalise as an Irish citizen.

The scheme will operate on the basis of the executive powers of the Minister and will be an administrative rather than a statutory scheme. The draft proposals outline that the scheme will be time limited and open for approximately a period of six months.

It is planned that that the scheme will be open for applications by the end of this year.

The Minister stated:

“There are thousands of people across the country who have created a life here but unfortunately still live in the legal shadows. They are active members of our communities: contributing to our society, enriching our culture and working in our economy”.

The Minister will hold an informal webinar with NGOS, civil society, employer organisations, trade unions and other key stakeholders on Monday 26th April 2021 on the proposed scheme.

Berkeley Solicitors greatly welcomes this scheme and hopes it will benefit as many people and families as possible who have made Ireland their home.

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE COMMENTS ON REGULARISATION OF STATUS FOR UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS IN IRELAND

On 26th June 2020, the new coalition government of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party endorsed the Programme for Government, which contains a commitment to regularise the status of undocumented migrants in Ireland.

In response to a Parliamentary Question put to her on 14th July 2020, the Minister for Justice has announced that a policy paper on this matter is currently being drafted by officials in the Department of Justice.

The Minister stated:

“The Programme for Government contains a commitment to create new pathways for long-term undocumented people and their dependents meeting specified criteria to regularise their status within 18 months of the formation of the Government, bearing in mind European Union and Common Travel Area commitments. 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.

A policy paper on the matter is being drafted by my officials at the present time. This will include an assessment of international best practices.

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 own and their family’s status.”

At present there has been no final agreement on this scheme or how it would operate but the Government has committed to establishing such a scheme within the next 18-month period.

We at Berkeley Solicitors fully support the implementation of a scheme to regularise the status of undocumented migrants and will publish any future developments on this on our website.

If you or a family member have any queries about your immigration status, please do not hesitate contact our office.

Please be aware that no such scheme exists at present and no new application process is currently available.