Immigrant Council welcomes Government decision to allow international travel for family reunification
The Immigrant Council of Ireland has welcomed the announcement today by the Department of Justice on changes to the priority / emergency visas list. The new changes will allow for visa applications to be accepted from people who are seeking to join their family members in Ireland.
Commenting on the announcement, Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council, said:
“The announcement today will be met with huge relief from the many families who contacted us in recent weeks and months, sharing their heartbreaking stories. Families separated from loved ones – parents from children, spouses from each other – have been hoping for this for some time.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very stressful time and this was magnified all the more for many migrants by the lack of certainty and ability to be united with their families. The struggles of those affected by the ban have been amplified in recent weeks on social media and stories in the news, and we welcome Minister Browne’s acknowledged today in his comments, of the impact family separation has had on people.”
Appropriate resources needed
Colin Lenihan, Information and Support Services Coordinator with the Immigrant Council, also welcomed the development:
“We are delighted to hear this good news today, after campaigning for reform for many months. For the hundreds of migrant families separated during the pandemic as a result of this visa suspension, this will also come as hugely welcome news for them.
“However, now that the visa ban is lifted, we are urging the Government to ensure that adequate resources are in place to deal with the inevitable backlog efficiently. We need to ensure that the families affected are reunited as quickly as possible, and are not separated further due to slow processing.”
Read our news release from last week calling on the Government to resume issuing visas for family reunification.
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