The Immigration Team at Sinnott Solicitors attended a consultation meeting on the 26th of April regarding the proposed Scheme To Regularise Undocumented Migrants in Ireland.
The meeting was held by the Department of Justice and Equality to provide updated information regarding the proposed terms of the Scheme to Regularise Undocumented Migrants residing in Ireland and to receive feedback and submissions from participants at the meeting regarding the terms of same.
It was a very productive meeting, where the Department provided further information on the proposed terms of the scheme and invited suggestions of ways to improve it. The Department have also invited written submissions to be made by the of 17th May. Sinnott Solicitors will be submitting written representations on behalf of our clients and the wider migrant community in Ireland with suggestions to improve the terms of the scheme.
The meeting was opened by Minister of State Mr James Brown T.D and his opening address can be read here.
Who Will be Eligible to Apply for the Undocumented Migrant Scheme under current proposals?
Last week Minister for Justice Helen McEntee announced that the Department of Justice was proposing that persons eligible for the scheme will need to have a period of four years of residence in the State without an immigration permission, or three years in the case of those with children.
In terms of applicants for the scheme, the Department proposes as follows:
- That the principal applicant will be a person aged over 18.
- That they may apply also for regularisation for their spouse/civil partner/de facto partner and they must be living with the principal applicant prior to the date of the scheme.
- That eligible children of the principal applicant, their spouse, civil or de facto partner who are residing with them may also be eligible to apply. The maximum age of such children has yet to be confirmed.
The scheme will not facilitate further family reunification.
The Department do not propose to apply minimum income requirements in order to qualify for the scheme.
They confirmed that standard character and criminal character considerations will be considered when processing an application, but they have not provided any clarity with respect to what criminal considerations will entail and further information is required in this regard.
Documentation to provide evidence of a person’s identity as well as residence in the State since their arrival will be required; however, clarification as to what will be accepted in this regard has not been confirmed.
Applications will be submitted via an online process and a fee will be payable; however, the level of fee has yet to be decided.
In addition to this, the Department have confirmed that they are finalising details of what type of immigration permission/stamp will be issued to successful applicants, however it has been confirmed that whatever permission is granted, it will allow unrestricted access to the labour market.
Applicants who are refused will be given the opportunity to appeal.
The above terms are a draft proposal only and the final terms of the scheme are currently under consideration. The Department have invited written submissions with suggestions from various interested parties, and these will be accepted up until the 17th of May 2021.
Sinnott Solicitors’ Analysis
Whilst the terms of the scheme have yet to be fully finalised, Sinnott Solicitors greatly welcomes the current proposals. We will engage with the Department of Justice with suggestions on how to improve the scheme to ensure that it is a fair and equitable scheme for all involved.
It is important to note that the scheme will not open until the end of the year and when it does, it will run for approximately six months.
We again caution that all undocumented migrants who are considering applying under the scheme should ensure that any advice which they receive are from reputable sources such as fully qualified solicitors registered with the Law Society of Ireland, non-Governmental organisations, charities assisting with immigration matters etc and not to approach or pay unregulated migration consultants in relation to this matter. The proposed terms of the scheme which have been put forward by the Department of Justice to date are a draft proposal only, and a lot of amendments will be made in the coming months up until the full terms are finalised and announced.
Sinnott Solicitors have a specialist team of Immigration Solicitors and Immigration Consultants located in our Dublin and Cork offices who are experts on all Irish immigration matters. Should you have any queries with respect to any of the information contained in this article or any other immigration matters, do not hesitate to contact our immigration department in Cork or Dublin today on 014062862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.