As it currently stands, undocumented migrants living in Ireland have few options when it comes to regularising their status. So much so that it is estimated over 26,000 migrants in Ireland do not have the relevant/necessary paperwork.
This creates a number of issues for those with irregular immigration status, ranging from difficulty in accessing healthcare, to fears of deportation.
Many of those living in Ireland without paperwork have, in fact, been living here on a long-term basis. Approximately 84% of undocumented migrants have been living in Ireland for over five years, according to research conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic, activists, migrant charities and members of the public have campaigned for the protection of undocumented migrants – it has become increasingly apparent that many of those we now consider ‘essential workers’ have irregular/insecure immigration status in the State.
The pandemic has reinforced the need to support those without the required paperwork and similarly, to allow these individuals to access health services without fearing deportation or arrest.
Regularising undocumented migrants
The newly elected coalition government endorsed the Programme for Government on 26th June 2020. This contains within it a pledge to regularise the status of undocumented migrants in Ireland.
The Department for Justice reiterated that this would not involve a blanket/mass regularisation of all undocumented migrants but will rather be considered case-by-case.
As of yet, the process is unclear however it is hoped that this will soon be open to the public.
Undocumented migrants in Ireland to be regularised [Image: Britannica]
Who is classed as an undocumented migrant?
Creating security for undocumented migrants is crucial; many of those who find themselves in this position do not do so out of choice. It can be as a result of destitution and a financial inability to renew visas, a rejected asylum claim, unintentionally overstaying, or holding out-of-date documents to name just a few circumstances.
What’s more, those who rely on an employer or who are sponsored by a family member such as a spouse in order to remain in Ireland may find themselves undocumented if the relationship changes, expires (in the case of employment) or becomes abusive.
Do You Need Immigration Assistance?
If you find that you or someone that you know is in need of urgent immigration advice, our fantastic team of immigration lawyers in Ireland are here to assist.
We offer support for a range of immigration matters, including help for those seeking asylum and those who have been detained.
No matter what your situation, IAS can help. We are continuing to provide immigration services throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, predominantly via telephone or video call.
If you need to renew your visa or simply require assistance with your immigration query, contact our client care team today on (+353) 061 518 025.