Ministers Flanagan and Stanton announce opening of the new humanitarian admissions programme

  • Under IRPP Humanitarian Admission Programme 2 (IHAP), up to 530 vulnerable family members will qualify for admission
  • Citizens, beneficiaries of international protection, and programme refugees in the State can propose eligible family members for consideration for admission from 14 May to 30 June 2018
  • People can make proposals for family members originating from the following countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Burundi.

12 May 2018

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, have today (Saturday) launched the first call for nominations under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) Humanitarian Admission Programme 2 (IHAP). Citizens, beneficiaries of international protection, and programme refugees can propose eligible family members for consideration for admission to Ireland from Monday, 14 May 2018. This call will remain open for six weeks until 30 June 2018. IHAP is part of the Ministers’ plans to deliver on Ireland’s commitments to address the migration crisis.

Minister Flanagan said:

“I am pleased that the Irish Refugee Protection Programme has completed its commitment to relocate people from Greece and that, since its inception, the programme has surpassed its original commitments on resettlement. The second phase of the programme has now begun with increased commitments on resettlement and the commencement of the new Humanitarian Admission Programme. Operating under discretionary Ministerial powers, the Programme will provide an opportunity to people in Ireland, who have immediate family members affected by the unprecedented scale of mass displacement to nominate family members under this programme. I know this programme will help change many lives and I am very pleased, along with Minister Stanton, to be in a position to open the call for proposals.”

Minister of State Stanton said: “This is one of my core areas of responsibility and a personal priority for me. I am very happy to bring another aspect of our humanitarian programme to a successful conclusion. During the IRPP we doubled our existing commitment to bring in 520 people under resettlement in our most ambitious programme ever. I would like to acknowledge and thank my colleague Minister Paul Kehoe for the significant logistical support provided by the Defence Forces to facilitate the safe arrival of the 129 people into Ireland today under the EU’s relocation programme.”

The Ministers wish to prioritise immediate family members in the most vulnerable situations internationally and following consultations with the UNHCR, persons from the following countries will be eligible under the scheme: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Burundi. These countries comprise the top ten major source countries of refugees listed under the UNHCR Annual Global Trends Report.

Up to 530 immediate family members of Irish citizens, persons with Convention refugee or subsidiary protection status, and persons with programme refugee status, coming from the countries listed will be welcomed into the country under IHAP over the next two years.

Minister of State Stanton added:

“The IHAP is a humane and flexible response to the needs of those fleeing high-risk areas, and will facilitate their reunion with family members in Ireland. The Programme reaffirms the Government’s commitment and ability to respond positively to humanitarian crises. Persons admitted under this programme will be part of the IRPP and will therefore receive a status in their own right rather than a dependency status on their family member. This is important for their long term integration and sense of belonging in our communities.”

The new scheme will allow proposers to include an offer to accommodate and support immediate family members for the Minister’s consideration. The scheme will operate under the supervision of the Department, the IRPP, and with the assistance of the UNHCR, particularly where a proposed family member is registered with the UNHCR in a third company.

In order to avoid increasing the demand on already limited housing supplies, particularly in small communities, the IHAP will prioritise nominations from proposing parties who have the capacity to provide accommodation to their family members. Work is also currently underway to pilot a community sponsorship option in the next phase of the IRPP which will further expand Ireland’s resettlement capacity.

Full details of the programme and the relevant form will be available on the INIS website ( from this Monday. Further open calls will be scheduled in 2018 and throughout 2019.


Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD is Minister for Justice and Equality.



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Updated: 12 May 2018

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