Minister launches Regularisation scheme for the Long term Undocumented

Posted on:

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, on Friday 03 December 2021, announced that the Government has approved a 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. 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 scheme will be open to those who do not have a current permission to reside in Ireland e.g. they arrived illegally or their permission expired/was withdrawn years ago.

The scheme, will be for long-term undocumented migrants and their eligible dependents, where the specific criteria is met. Applicants to the scheme must have a period of 4 years undocumented residence in the State without an immigration permission, or 3 years in the case of those with children aged under 18 years living with them on the date the Scheme opens for applications. People with expired student permissions will also be able to apply and those with an existing Deportation Order can apply, if they meet the minimum undocumented residence requirement and other scheme requirements.

A fee of €700 will apply to family unit applications to assist in recovering the cost of administration. Children up to 23 years, living with their parent(s), can be included in a family unit application. A fee of €550 will apply to individuals’ applications. Successful applicants will also be required to pay a registration fee to register their permission granted under the scheme. Permissions will be granted for two years initially and subject to schemes conditions and security checks will be renewed for a further period.

The scheme will include a parallel strand 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 2 years to apply. Those eligible will be able to apply for that strand through the published process. The International Protection specific scheme strand will be fee exempt at both application stage and at registration.

In assessing eligibility for the scheme 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.

This scheme will not create any new entitlements to family reunification. Those who are successful under this Scheme may be eligible at a future date under the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification.

People who are eligible under the scheme will:

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.

This time-limited scheme will open for online applications in January 2022 and applications will be accepted for 6 months.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience.