Minister McEntee outlines draft scheme to regularise immigration status for long-term undocumented migrants

Immigration reform Olajumoke Juliet George kod lyons

Juliet George of the Immigration and International Law team provides a brief analysis of the announcement made by Minister Mc Entee today in relation to the regularisation of immigration status for long term undocumented migrants[1]

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee has begun consultation on the terms of regularising the status of undocumented Migrants in the State.  Final Government approval of the proposed Scheme is expected in September 2021 after input from various stakeholders.

This scheme is expected to be open to thousands of undocumented Migrants by the end of 2021 and will particularly include

  • Those who have lived in the State for 4 years without an immigration permission, or 3 years in the case of those with children;
  • Be granted immigration status that allows for unrestricted access to the labour market and;
  • Have years of permission to reside which will be reckonable for the purposes of pursuing citizenship by way of naturalisation.

It is proposed that the scheme will be opened to those who have been resident in the State for four years without a valid immigration permission and it is anticipated will be open for applications for six months only.    Successful applicants will then be given immigration permission to access the labour market and begin the path to citizenship. This is clearly a very welcome development for the very many undocumented migrants in the State who form a vital part of Ireland’s social fabric and identity.

However, as with all schemes, it is hoped that once finalised  it will not overly prescriptive and that it allows sufficient flexibility in cases that may not strictly adhere to the envisaged criteria. The Cabinet is being updated on her proposed approach this week ahead of consultation with stakeholders which are due to commence on Monday 26th April 2021.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Juliet George at 01-6790780 or at

[1] – Minister McEntee outlines draft scheme to regularise undocumented migrants to Cabinet (

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