Minister Flanagan announces Special Scheme allowing certain non-EEA nationals to apply for permission to remain in the State

  • Non-EEA nationals resident in the State who held a valid student permission from 2005 to 2010 to benefit
  • Scheme expected to address a significant cohort of the ‘undocumented’ persons in the State

15 October 2018

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., has today announced the launch of a new scheme which will allow certain non-EEA nationals, who came to Ireland to study between January 2005 and December 2010, to apply for permission to remain in the State.

The scheme will be open for 3 months, from Monday 15th October 2018 to Sunday 20th January 2019, and is open to non-EEA nationals resident in the State who held a valid student permission during the period of 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2010 and who have not in the intervening period acquired an alternative immigration permission.

In welcoming the scheme, the Minister made the point that he expects that those who benefit from it are in turn going to benefit the economy, saying:

"I am pleased that the scheme provides that permission will be granted for an initial probationary period of two years at the end of which qualifying persons must be able to clearly demonstrate that they are self-sufficient and did not become an unreasonable burden on the State. In these circumstances, beneficiaries can be expected to be net contributors to the economy."

INIS has developed an online application form for eligible applicants to apply under the scheme. Eligible applicants may apply to the Minister for Justice and Equality for a permission to remain in the State including the right to reside and work in the State and will be subject to renewal after two years. Modest fees will be charged under the scheme.

The Scheme addresses a significant cohort of people who have been in the State for a long number of years and who form part of the “undocumented” persons in the State by virtue of them having moved from a position of having permission to be in the State some years ago to having fallen out of permission.

While family reunification is not permitted under this scheme, the family circumstances of persons present in the State will be taken into consideration. For persons qualifying under this Scheme, the family unit who have been residing with them in the State may be given permission to remain under the scheme.

Full details and criteria for the scheme together with the online application form are set-out on the INIS website www.inis.gov.ie.

Notes for editors

Who is eligible for this scheme?

Non-EEA nationals resident in the State who held a student permission during the period of 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2010, who have not in the intervening period acquired an alternative immigration permission. Other conditions include not having a criminal record.

How long will the scheme be open for?

The scheme will be open for 3 months, from Monday 15 October 2018 to Sunday 20 January 2019 (inclusive). INIS has developed an online application form for eligible applicants to apply under the scheme.

Can people currently not residing in Ireland apply for permission under this scheme?

No, applications are only accepted from people who are residing in Ireland.

Is there a fee for applying to this scheme?

Yes. A non-refundable administration fee of €250 applies to the processing of this application, which must be paid at the time of application. An additional €450 fee must also be paid at the time of application, and this will be refunded if the application is unsuccessful. Successful applicants will be issued with an initial 2 year registration at a reduced fee of €300 (normal fees would be €600 i.e. €300 paid annually).

What immigration stamp will successful applicants receive and can they access the labour market?

Successful applicants will be granted a stamp 4S permission that will provide an immigration permission to live and work in the State without the need for an Employment Permit, for 2 years. At the end of the 2 year permission period applicants will be granted a Stamp 4 permission for 1 year if they can provide evidence that they have complied with the terms of the temporary stamp 4S conditions.

If applicants are granted a Stamp 4S permission, can their family members obtain this permission also?

Under this scheme, family reunification is not permitted - i.e. spouse or partner and dependent children living outside the State, cannot seek to join the applicant in Ireland. However, the family circumstances of persons present in the State will be taken into consideration. This means that where a person qualifies under this Scheme, the family unit who have been residing with them in the State may be given permission to remain under the scheme.

What are the conditions attached to this permission?

The following conditions apply to the temporary permission on Stamp 4S conditions to remain in Ireland:

  • That they will obey the laws of the State;
  • That they have and will in the future not become involved in criminal activity;
  • That they will reside continuously in the State;
  • That they will make every effort to gain employment and not be an undue burden on the State;
  • That they accept that the granting of this temporary permission does not confer any entitlement or legitimate expectation on any other person, whether related to you or not, to enter or remain in the State;
  • That at the end of the 2 year period they have acquired at least the minimum English language skills as set out in the Scheme Notice.

What happens at the end of the 2 year period?

After two years, if applicants have adhered to the terms of their permission they will be granted a Stamp 4 permission for a further 12 months. The permission to reside on Stamp 4 conditions is renewable after 12 months if they have adhered to the conditions of that permission.

Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD

Charlie Flanagan TD is Minister for Justice and Equality.

 

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Published: 15 October 2018

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