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Orla Ni Eili, Co-ordinator Clare Immigrant Support Centre and Laila Bounouar, Interculture worker. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare Immigrant Support Centre welcomes introduction of Undocumented Regularisation Scheme

A LANDMARK scheme to regularise long-term undocumented migrants will transform the lives of many individuals and families living in Clare and all over Ireland, according to the Clare Immigrant Support Centre.
The centre have welcomed the announcement of the scheme which will launch early in  2022 and be open for six months.
The scheme proposes to regularise the immigration statuses of individuals with dependent children after three years of being undocumented in the State and individuals living in Ireland undocumented for at least four years by the time the scheme opens in 2022.
Successful applicants will have the right to live, work engage in education and will also have a pathway to becoming Irish citizens.
The scheme will also be open to individuals who have been in the international protection process for two years or more. According to Orla Ní Eilí from Clare Immigrant Support Centre this will be of great benefit to  reducing the large backlog of asylum seekers living for years in the much-criticised direct provision accommodation system while  awaiting  decisions on their international protection applications.
A Clare based International Protection applicant said, “I am so happy that I am crying this morning to hear that asylum seekers like myself can apply to this scheme. I have had no interview after two and a half years and have been very worried and upset about my situation, this now gives me hope and a future.”
Ms Ní Eilí commented, “We are delighted to finally see the introduction of this scheme and congratulate and are proud of all who have campaigned for many years to see this day come to pass.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the scheme being open for six months and especially the inclusion of a pathway for International Protection applicants. It is imperative that user testing of the online application process be undertaken to ensure it is an easy process to use as this is the only way to apply.  We are concerned  about  the cost of the fees given the nature of their employment conditions and the impact of Covid. Also it is essential that information about the scheme and practical supports be provided in many different languages to  be disseminated widely  by Clare Immigrant Support Centre and others  so that as many people as possible can benefit from this scheme and feel more secure in planning their futures here in Clare.”
Applications will be through an online  portal system and the supporting documents needed will also be uploaded to the portal. Applications for the scheme will come at a cost of €550 for each individual and €700 for family units.  Application fees will however be waived for eligible international protection applicants. 

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