Thousands of people to benefit from proposed regularisation of undocumented migrants

Thousands of people to benefit from proposed regularisation of undocumented migrants

Helen McEntee

Thousands of people in Ireland will have their immigration status regularised under a proposed scheme announced this afternoon.

Under the proposals set out by Justice Minister Helen McEntee, those who have been in the State for four years without a valid immigration permission will be able to apply for the regularisation of their status.

This would give them a valid immigration permission and unrestricted access to the labour market, and open the path for eventual application for naturalisation as an Irish citizen.

The scheme will operate under the executive powers of the Minister for Justice on an administrative basis and will be time-limited. It is anticipated it will be open for approximately six months for applications.

The Department of Justice said “regard will be given to the character and conduct of an individual” when assessing applications under the scheme.

The final terms of the scheme are subject to a consultation, which will begin now with a view to securing final government approval on the proposed scheme by September and bringing it into effect by the end of the year.

Ms McEntee said: “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.

“I firmly believe that we in Ireland must show the same generosity towards undocumented migrants living in our country as we ask other countries, particularly the United States, to show Irish people who have built a life elsewhere but who are still undocumented in their new homes.”

Ms McEntee and James Browne, minister of state for law reform, will hold an information webinar with NGOs, civil society, employer organisations, trade unions and “other key stakeholders” on Monday.

In addition to presenting their initial views to the ministers on Monday, stakeholders will also have an opportunity to provide more detailed written submissions after the webinar.

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