JUSTICE MINISTER HELEN McEntee has said she has already approved 250 applications from long-term undocumented migrants under a new scheme which will allow them to seek citizenship in Ireland.
The “once-in-a-generation” scheme is open to people who have been living here for at least four years without documentation, or three years if they have minor children.
Applicants will have to meet specific criteria. Spouses, civil partners or de facto partners and eligible children aged 18 to 23 years of the primary applicant are also eligible.
Successful applicants will be granted immigration permission and have their residency status regularised, meaning they have full access to the labour market in Ireland.
- Approximately 5,000 applications have been made so far
- First permission letters have issued to successful applicants in recent days
- Minister encourages all those eligible to apply to do so
Welcoming the positive start to the scheme, McEntee said: “We’ve seen a very positive level of engagement with the Scheme since I opened it for applications at the end of January.
“We committed to making the online application process as simple and as straightforward as possible and because of this we are now in a position to issue the first positive decisions just two months in.
“Permission letters have started to arrive in homes across the country with life changing news for those receiving them and their families.”
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McEntee added that it is important that people who are eligible for the scheme don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply.
She said her department will run a targeted communications campaign in the coming weeks to reach out to migrant communities likely to benefit from the scheme to encourage them to consider applying.
“I hope seeing these first positive decisions issuing will encourage more people to apply for what is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity to regularise their status in the State,” she added.