As we come to the end of 2021, it looks like 2022 is going to be better for Asylum Seekers in Ireland. Here is an update on key issues as we understand them at this time:
UPDATE 18th December 2021
Asylum Seekers can now apply for driving licenses - more info here -/>
The Government (through the White Paper on International Protection), the Supreme Court, the Minister for Justice & the Minister for Transport have all agreed that Asylum Seekers should be allowed to have a driving license. For this to happen, the Minister for Transport has stated that an amendment to current legislation is required and he has undertaken to do this. However, for the time being nothing has changed.
We will advise you when there is any update.
In the meantime if you are being offered driving lessons, be sure to get a written guarantee that any lessons you do will be counted when you want to apply for a driving test.
Opening Bank Accounts:
When Asylum Seekers are trying to open a Bank Account, the Temporary Residence Certificate is now accepted as proof of ID and a letter from IPAS or IPO is accepted as proof of address.
International Protection Office (IPO) Changes
For those newly entering the International Protection System as Asylum Seekers, the following should speed up the process from now on ~
Special Afghan Admission Programme
In the last few days, there has been an announcement of 500 extra temporary residency places for family members of Afghan nationals living in Ireland. Those who are successful will be given temporary residence in Ireland for 2 years.
Regularisation Scheme for Asylum Seekers (Documented Immigrants)
The Minister for Justice has announced that a Regularisation Scheme for Asylum Seekers will begin early in 2022. The full details of this scheme are not fully available at the moment. Much of the current discussion in the Media is about a similar scheme for Undocumented Immigrants. These are NOT Asylum Seekers as Asylum Seekers are DOCUMENTED. It is important to clarify between the two.
What is known of the Regularisation Scheme for Asylum Seekers (Documented) is as follows:
All of the above should make life a little easier for Asylum Seekers in the year to come.