New Regularisation Scheme for Undocumented People

Is there a regularisation scheme happening for undocumented people?

YES there is a regularisation scheme happening for undocumented people this year (2021). The Department of Justice made an announcement on 23rd April. They made it absolutely clear the regularisation scheme is happening and that it will be open before the end of the year for a period of 6 months. On 22nd August, Minister for Justice, James Browne said: “The scheme will be finalised by my department in the first week in September. It will then be brought to Cabinet by the end of September. I expect the scheme will then open in November.

This is fantastic news and a huge win for our JFU campaign.

See the government announcements here:

23rd April

22nd August

What does regularisation mean?

Regularisation means a way for undocumented people to come forward and gain a legal status here in Ireland.

When will the regularisation scheme happen?

The government have said that the scheme will be open before the end of the year (2021) for a period of 6 months. On 22nd August, Minister for Justice, James Browne said “The scheme will be finalised by my department in the first week in September. It will then be brought to Cabinet by the end of September. I expect the scheme will then open in November.

It is not open now and you cannot apply or register for it now.

Who will be able to apply? Is it open to all undocumented people?

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 eligible persons have children here in Ireland.

What if I am outside the current criteria?

These are not the final criteria 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.

*Please note* that the final decision on criteria rests with the Department of Justice once this consultation is finished.

Can I see MRCI & JFU’s written submission about the scheme?

Yes of course, please see MRCI & JFU’s full written submission to the Department of Justice here.

When will we know the final criteria?

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

Do I need a solicitor to apply for this scheme?

Absolutely not, you will be able to apply for this scheme by yourself or with the support of MRCI/JFU. You do not need to pay a solicitor to help you apply and they CANNOT secure you any priority with this scheme.

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 should I do to prepare?

For now we don’t know what documents will be required. We hope there will be a flexible approach to document requests. We would suggest that people start to gather together any documents that prove they were 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.

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.

How do I stay up to date on developments about the scheme?

Please make sure to stay connected as we get more news to make sure you don’t miss out on this scheme! You can join our JFU group or our mailing list to stay right up to speed on developments. Please email jfu@mrci.ie or fill the form here https://www.mrci.ie/jfu-campaign/

I have a question about the scheme that’s not answered here, what should I do?

Please email jfu@mrci.ie with your question and we will respond directly to you asap.