500 Afghans to be offered temporary residence in Ireland 8 months ago

500 Afghans to be offered temporary residence in Ireland

The Justice Minister has announced a new admissions programme that will give temporary residence to 500 Afghans. 

It will open on Thursday the 16th of December and give priority to the most vulnerable such as the elderly, girls, and people with disabilities.

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“In processing applications, we will be prioritising those who are especially vulnerable and whose freedom and safety is most at risk, like older people, children, single female parents, single women and girls, and people with disabilities," said Justice Minister Helen McEntee.

The Journal reports that the Afghan Admissions programme will allow Afghan nationals to apply for the scheme if a close family member is living or had lived in Ireland up until September 1st. 

Afghan nationals who are currently living in Ireland legally can also nominate up to four family members. The close family members may be living in Afghanistan or in neighboring countries to which they fled. 

The scheme has been announced following the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban's takeover this year.

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Speaking at the launch McEntee said; "A reversal of human rights, increased violence and fear of reprisals has led to a large number of displaced people seeking help."

"Understandably, it has also been a very worrying time for the Afghan community living in Ireland as they fear for the safety of their family members in Afghanistan or displaced to neighbouring countries."

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Photograph: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

As well as priority being given to the vulnerable it will also be extended to those who previously worked in organisations deemed high risks such as the UN and EU.

The successful applicants will be able to stay in Ireland by regularising their residency. 

This year 110 Afghan nationals were granted statutory Family Reunification in Ireland after war and terror  erupted following the government's fallout. 102 Join Family visas were also granted to Afghan nationals here. 

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“Combined with the 500 available places on the programme that we are announcing today, this represents a very high level of support for the 1,200 strong Afghan community currently living in Ireland," McEntee said at the launch. 

Applications will close on February 10th, 2022.

Feature image by Leah Farrell via Rolling News.