I’m Irene, one of the organisers in the Justice for the Undocumented Campaign. I wrote this blog to give some clear updates for people who are living undocumented here in Ireland.

The regularisation scheme for undocumented people to come forward and gain a legal status in Ireland is happening this year.

The Department of Justice made an announcement about the regularisation scheme on 23rd April. They have made it absolutely clear the regularisation scheme is happening.

This is the result of MRCI’s and Justice for the Undocumented 10 year-long campaign – and we are over the moon it’s nearly here!

So when will the regularisation scheme be open? The government have said that the scheme will be open before the end of this year for a period of 6 months but they haven’t given an exact date yet. We remind everyone that it is not open now and you cannot apply or register for it now.

Who can apply for the scheme? The criteria are not yet final but the government are proposing at present that it will be for anyone who has been undocumented 4 years or more. This is reduced to 3 years or more if the undocumented person has a child here in Ireland.

If you are worried that you don’t qualify please remember this is not final yet. There is still a consultation process ongoing where MRCI and JFU along with other organisations will have the chance to make recommendations to the government about the scheme. We will continue to push for a broader scheme that includes as many undocumented people as possible.

The final decision on criteria rests with the Department of Justice once this consultation is finished. You can see MRCI’s and JFU’s submission here.

We expect the final criteria by September at the latest. The scheme is due to be officially approved by the government then.

It is important for everyone to know that you will be able to apply for this scheme by yourself or with the support of MRCI and JFU.

You do not need to pay a solicitor to help you apply and they CANNOT secure you any priority with this scheme.

We also strongly advise people: do not enter any new process with immigration prior to the opening of the scheme. This will not secure you any priority and in fact could put you at risk of being excluded.

What documents will I need for the scheme? For now we don’t know what documents will be required. We hope there will be a flexible approach to this.

We suggest that people start to gather any documents that prove they have been living in Ireland the past 4 years. We will be able to share exactly what documents are required when this is released by the department in advance of the scheme.

Please make sure to stay connected as we get more news to make sure you don’t miss out on this scheme!

If you have any question about the scheme that we have not answered here, please just email jfu@mrci.ie with your question and we will respond directly to you asap.

Stay safe and stay connected, this scheme is coming!!!

Irene, Organiser with Justice for the Undocumented