Undocumented Migrants

Sinnott Solicitors have had numerous successful undocumented migrants applications and we are proud to say that we have helped many undocumented migrants regularise their immigration status and to become lawful residents of Ireland.

There are thousands of people living in Ireland undocumented from many different Countries.  Many of those are involved in childminding and housekeeping duties.

Many undocumented migrants are supporting parents in their home country.  At present there is no amnesty available to regularise the position of undocumented migrants in Ireland. 

Warning for All Undocumented Migrants

There are some very dubious Immigration Consultants in Ireland who have provided false information on their website about a “new Legal Pathway Scheme” that simply does NOT exist. Sinnott Solicitors were very alarmed to read the website of one Immigration Consultant which falsely states that illegal migrants, failed Asylum Seekers or any other person who has been struggling to maintain legal status in Ireland “now has been encouraged by the new Government to apply for their own and their families’ status under their new Legal Pathway Scheme”

The correct position is that  there is no new law. The information being relied on is response to a Parliamentary Question put to the Minister for Justice and Equality . The Ministers response is in essence a statement that a person can apply to regularise their status and is encouraged to do so.  That is what is already provided for under existing statutory provisions in the Immigration Acts 1999-2004 which contain provisions to enable an applicant to seek immigration permission, vary immigration permission and/or make representations if the Minister proposes to deport a person, to comply with immigration reporting obligations and to apply for revocation of a deportation order, if there are grounds for so doing.

The Minister did state that Department Officials are looking at policy in this area but there has been no “new” scheme put in place in the form of a new immigration regularisation programme. Previous statements have been made about considering regularisation so response of the Minister of the Parliamentary Question does not add much further to previous statements.

The Minister for Justice commits to Introduce a new legal route for undocumented migrants

On Tuesday 14th July 2020, Deputy Bernard J. Durkan requested the Minister for Justice and Equality to set out her plans to introduce a scheme to help regularise undocumented workers within the State and the proposed timeline for the introduction of such a scheme.  Deputy Durkan requested the Minister to make a statement on the matter.

The Minister for Justice confirmed that the immigration service delivery function of her department examines each case of a non-documented or illegal person in the State on a case by case basis and has consistently urged anybody in that position to come forward if they wish to apply to regularise their position in the State.  She stated that a pragmatic approach is taken in relation to each case which is considered on it’s individual merits.  Sinnott Solicitors have for many years made applications for undocumented migrants in order to regularise their position in the State.

The Minister confirmed that the programme for government contains a commitment to create new legal route for long term undocumented migrants and their dependent family members who meet specific criteria to regularise their status within eighteen months of the formation of the government, bearing in mind European Union and common travel area commitments.

This is a very welcome and positive Statement indeed.  It means that many of our undocumented migrant clients may in future be in a position to make applications to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service in order to regularise their legal position in the State.  Those clients could also be in a position to make applications on behalf of their children and dependent family members.

The Minister has also confirmed that Ireland along with other member States of the EU has committed under the European pact on immigration and asylum 2008 to a case by case approach as opposed to mass regularisation.

The Minister also confirmed that a policy paper on the matter is currently in the process of being drafted.  She anticipates that the policy paper would include an assessment of international best practices.

She also stated that people must engage with the authorities if they wish to be permitted to remain in Ireland legally.  She encourages any person who is resident in the State without permission to contact the Department or their local immigration office to take all appropriate steps to regularise their own and their family status.

Sinnott Solicitors receive hundreds of queries from people who are undocumented in the State and we are here to advise those people.

The law on Undocumented Migrant Applications

The Immigration Acts 1999-2004 contain provisions to enable an applicant to seek immigration permission, vary immigration permission and/or make representations if the Minister proposes to deport a person, to comply with immigration reporting obligations and to apply for revocation of a deportation order, if there are grounds for so doing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Undocumented Migrant Application

An option available to undocumented Migrants is to make an application for leave to remain in the state.  The disadvantages of making such an application are that that person is putting themselves on the radar of the Irish authorities.  The advantage to making a leave to remain application if successful is that the person could regularise their position in the state and become a lawful resident of Ireland.  Ultimately if the application is unsuccessful a deportation order could be made.  If the undocumented migrant knowingly overstayed their initial visa and if the application is refused it would be necessary to examine carefully the refusal in order to see if the refusal could be challenged before the Courts.

Undocumented Migrant Application

Once on the radar of the Irish immigration authorities, an applicant is likely to receive a letter from the Department of Justice outlining three options.  One of those options would be an option to leave the state voluntarily.  Another option is for the applicant to consent to the making of a deportation order.  The third option would be an option to make representations for leave to remain on humanitarian grounds.

If a person is supporting a parent in their home country then it is necessary to establish if there are any health problems with the parents.  It is necessary to establish whether there is any family in the home country, the age of the parents, their mental status, their other siblings in their home state and their communication with the family.

If the applicant does not have any Irish citizen children and if the applicant is not married to an Irish citizen then there is a high chance that a deportation order would issue.  A deportation order in Ireland affects the applicant for not just Ireland but for their entry into other countries as well.  If the applicant went to another country afterwards and applied for a visa, there would be a question to state whether the applicant had ever been deported from another country.

In order to support a leave to remain application for an undocumented migrant it is important for the migrant to obtain letters of reference from Irish people that they know and details of their circumstances in as much detail as possible.  It is also necessary to establish whether the migrant has completed any courses and obtained

any qualifications or certificates since their arrival into the state. It is important to establish what the qualifications and finances of the undocumented migrant are.

A number of documents and information that is required in order to make the application and certain information is required as follows:

  1. Entry into the State – The Applicant must set out the date of arrival in the State and their status upon arrival in the State.
  2. Residency in the State – The Applicant must submit all proofs of all addresses where the Applicant has lived.  For example, tenancy agreements, utility bills and any other proof of residence that the Applicant has
  3. The Applicant must set out details of their current financial activities in the State including their work history. In the case of employment, the Applicant must provide the following:
    • Tax credit certificate from Revenue/P60 for as many years as possible
    • Employment Contract
    • Letter from the Employer confirming employment and hours of work
    • Three recent payslips
  4. P60’s/P45’s/P21 or self-assessment tax returns made in the entire duration of the stay.
  5. In the case of self-employment the Applicant must submit the following:
    • Letter from the Revenue for the confirmation of enrolment for tax
    • Tax assessment returns from Revenue
    • Business bank statements for the last six months
  6. If the Applicant is not working, the Applicant must provide proof of a job offer letter confirming that he or she has been offered fulltime employment on condition of grant of residence in the State
  7. Social Service – The Applicant must set out any social benefits claimed and details and evidence of any disability claim.  If he Applicant has not received any social welfare, the Applicant must provide a letter from the local Social Welfare Office to confirm that no claims have been made.
  8. Integration into Irish Society – The Applicant must provide personal reference letters from friends, colleagues and from the Irish community confirming that the Applicant is of good character and that the Applicant has integrated into Irish Society.  Details of involvement with volunteer activities, memberships in community service organisation and all other community work must be detailed as part of the application.
  9. Criminal Record – The Applicant must set out if the Applicant has any criminal record or any charges pending in the State or abroad.
  10. Previous record with the Immigration Authorities in Ireland – The Applicant must set out any personal ID number that the previously had or GNIB registration number.  The Applicant must also provide all correspondence that he Applicant has in their position received from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service since their arrival in the State
  11. The Applicant must also provide any outstanding deportation or removal orders or transfer orders
  12. Serious Threats from the Country of Origin – The Applicant must set out details of any serious threats to their safety in their country of origin.  In addition, the Applicant must set out any details with proofs such as television broadcasts, photographs, newspaper articles etc.
  13. A Detailed Personal Statement – The Applicant must provide a details personal statement summarising in writing their life to date in Ireland.  The personal statement should also set out their future intentions and refer to any reasons as to why the Applicant does not wish to return to their home country
  14. Specific Skills, Qualifications/Achievements – The Applicant must set out any skills achieved and qualification certificates, chef skill certificates, licences obtained, taxi licence or any other skills or qualifications obtained since their arrival in the State.  The Applicant must attach all of those certificates to the application together with any other details the Applicant wishes to add
  15. Personal Details – The Applicant must also submit the following:
    • Two recent passport size photographs for the Applicant
    • PPS number (if available)
    • Copy colour of Applicant’s passport (all pages) and any previous passports
    • Complete current contact details together with address, mobile and email addresses
    • Personal bank statement for the Applicant (if available)

If you are an undocumented migrant or if any of your family members or friends are undocumented, Sinnott Immigration Solicitors can assist you with this type of application.  We are very experienced in putting together these type of applications and we cannot stress the importance of submitting a very detailed and well put together application. Sinnott Solicitors have had numerous successful undocumented migrants applications and we are proud to say that we have helped many undocumented migrants regularise their immigration status and to become lawful residents of Ireland.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us at info@sinnott.ie or on 01-4062862

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