New scheme for undocumented migrants – Immigration Law

We are delighted to hear that the Minister for Justice, Ms. Helen McEntee, has outlined a draft scheme to regularise thousands of undocumented migrants in Ireland. This is very welcome news for the clients of Joyce & Co Solicitors and many thousands of people with a life in Ireland who have previously struggled to obtain a permission.

Ms. McEntee tweeted on the 23rd of April 2021:

“There are thousands of people who have created a life in Ireland but still live in the legal shadows. We need to show the same generosity to the undocumented here as we ask is shown towards our citizens in the same situation elsewhere.”

“I am now opening a consultation process on my scheme to regularise undocumented migrants in Ireland, ahead of the scheme opening for applications by the end of the year. The details are available here:”

Minister McEntee’s empathy for undocumented migrants is refreshing and reflective of her position on immigration as Minister for Justice. While this is fantastic news, it is important to bear in mind that nothing is finalised yet. Minister McEntee has outlined her draft proposals, which so far suggests that eligible people for the scheme would:

have a period of 4 years residence in the State without an immigration permission, or 3 years in the case of those with children;
be granted an immigration permission that allows for unrestricted access to the labour market;
have years of residence with that permission reckonable for the purposes of pursuing citizenship by way of naturalisation.
The Minister’s proposals are not set in stone and will be subject to a consultation process. Key stakeholders will be invited to have their say on the scheme (e.g. NGOs, civil society, employer organisations, trade unions etc.), therefore the final form the scheme will take is unknown.

It is the Minister’s intention that this scheme will take effect by the end of 2021. If the scheme does indeed open by the end of 2021, Ms. McEntee expects it to be time-limited and a possible window of 6 months will apply for the receipt of applications. In the meantime, we invite and encourage people interested in this scheme to get in contact with Joyce & Co Solicitors.

Due to the time-limited nature of the scheme, it is important to get the word out there and for people to begin to think about making an application to the Department of Justice. We anticipate large volumes of people will be interested in this scheme and the department may come under pressure from an administrative point of view.

While emphasising that this scheme is not currently in operation, Joyce & Co Solicitors welcome interested individuals to make contact with us in advance of the opening date to discuss their options and the best approach to take. Joyce & Co Solicitors have an established immigration team and a history of successful applications on behalf of our clients.

If you would like to speak with a member of our immigration team about this scheme or any immigration query you might have, please contact us on 021-4270391 or to make a consultation.