Asylum bill will create stricter family reunification regime

Asylum bill will create stricter family reunification regime

Measures contained in the International Protection Bill will create a stricter family reunification regime than the one currently in place, immigrant support organisation Nasc has said.

Fiona Finn, chief executive of Nasc, has said the total number of refugees coming to Ireland is likely to be much less than the estimated 20,000 because of the strictness of the rules included in the new legislation, which is currently before the Oireachtas.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the legislation would reduce the length of time asylum applicants spend in the protection process, including the direct provision system, by establishing a single applications procedure.

The law will also allow An Garda Síochána to enter private dwellings in order to arrest asylum seekers who have been subjected to a deportation order.

According to Nasc, the current system allows refugees to appeal to the Minister for Justice and Equality for dependent family members – including parents, grandparents and siblings – to join them in Ireland.

However, the new rules would only allow spouses, civil partners, and children under the age of 18 to join refugees living here.

Ms Finn also said same-sex partners fleeing from countries where homosexuality is criminalised could be denied their right to reunification.

The Department of Justice and Equality said its family reunification rules are based on EU Council Directive 2003/86/EC.

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