Afghan Admission Programme

On 28th September 2021 the Minister of Justice announced the introduction of the Special Afghan Admission Programme. The Minister announced the Afghan Admission Programme with the following draft elements;
– up to 500 additional places for Afghan family members to enter and reside in Ireland,
– family members will have the right to work without the need for an employment permit,
– Afghan nationals living in Ireland on or before 1st September 2021 will be eligible to apply,
– up to 4 close family members can be nominated,
– there will be an appeals process.

The program will prioritise the most vulnerable in terms of risk to their freedom and safety, such as: “older people; children; single female parents; single women and girls; people with disabilities; and people whose previous employment exposes them to greater risk, for example UN and EU employees and people who worked for civil society organisations.”

Although the Afghan Admission Programme is a welcome announcement from the Government the numbers of places available for family members would appear inadequate. We submit the programme should not limit the family nomination to 4 persons and should allow an overall number of places greater than 500.

The other avenues to family reunification, available to Afghan nationals, have onerous criteria which many cannot achieve. Afghan nationals who were granted subsidiary protection or refugee status within the last 12 months are entitled to apply for family reunification under the International Protection Act 2015 (“the Act”). The Act allows for family reunification with a spouse/civil partner, who was a spouse/civil partner at the time of the application for International Protection, and minor children. The Minister stated that these applications are currently being expedited. Furthermore, applications for family reunification by way of a ‘D Visa’ are also being expedited, according to the Ministerial announcement on 28th September 2021.

We have received many phone calls and emails from Afghan nationals living in Ireland who are concerned for family members. We will continue to assist and advise our Afghan clients who wish to be reunited with their family members. If you are concerned about family members in Afghanistan, please get in contact and we will advise you on the various options open to you.