Joe O’Brien: Migrant regularisation scheme ‘will open doors and opportunities for thousands of people’  

3rd December, 2021

Minister Joe O’Brien has today (December 3rd) welcomed a new scheme to regularise the status of migrants in Ireland, which will open in January to applications for a one-off, six-month period.

The scheme, which was launched by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD and Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman TD, following a commitment secured by the Green Party in the Programme for Government, will open to people who do not have a current permission to reside in Ireland and have lived here illegally for four years. This period will be reduced to three years for all eligible, resident members of the family where the applicant has a dependent minor child residing with them in the State.

Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD said;

“This scheme is a particularly important Programme for Government commitment from my point of view. I’ve worked in organisations that deal directly with undocumented migrants. I’ve often sat down one-on-one with people to try and navigate a path to normality, only for doors to remain shut. However, this scheme will open doors and open opportunities for thousands of people to step of out of the shadows and allow them to be full members of the society they have already contributed to.”

Throughout the pandemic it has been highlighted that many undocumented persons have been working in areas providing essential services during the crisis including those caring for the elderly and unwell, healthcare workers, cleaners, those involved in retail, food processing and agriculture. I have no doubt that there are many people in Fingal who have been supported by undocumented people working in these areas.”

“The regularisation scheme will allow us to retain the skills of these people who in some cases have worked in these sectors for decades and it is right to address the precarious situation of people who have been essential workers during the pandemic.”

In parallel with this process, international protection applicants who have an outstanding application for international protection and have been in the asylum process for a minimum of two years will be allowed to apply. This will implement the recommendation included in the report of the Expert Advisory Group, led by Dr Catherine Day.