Government approved program that will provide up to 500 additional places for Afghan family members
Up to 500 Afghans fleeing the unrest in the country must be granted temporary residence rights in the state, under plans approved by the government today.
The Cabinet has considered a special admission program for family members of around 1,200 Afghans living in Ireland, who will see up to 500 of them brought into the state.
The plan was jointly presented by Justice Minister Heather Humphreys, Children Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.
Under the program, Afghan nationals can apply for temporary residence if they are in Afghanistan or a neighboring country after having fled.
The government provides that the sponsoring family member in Ireland will host the person applying for residence. It is believed that this would mean that there would be no need for new premises associated with the program.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman noted that those who arrive will not go to the direct supply. He said they would first go to emergency reception and referral centers and then be moved to accommodation across the country.
The Department of Justice would manage the new program, while the Department for Children would support Afghan refugees through the Irish Refugee Protection Program, having offered refugee status to 400 Afghan citizens since the Taliban took over. country this summer.
Justice Minister Heather Humphreys said “human rights violations, violence and fear of reprisal have led large numbers of displaced people to seek help.”
She said the program “will allow current and former Afghan nationals living in Ireland to apply to bring in immediate family members who are vulnerable in Afghanistan or who have fled to another neighboring country to join them here in Ireland.”
She said there are many members of the Afghan community in Ireland who are deeply concerned for their family members. She said people could stay on the visa for up to two years and could apply under other programs.
Mr Humphreys said the move was in addition to the 670 permits granted to Afghan nationals to live in Ireland already this year, with more under existing programs.