New resource to help young people navigate complex immigration system
A lack of clarity and consistency in the Irish immigration system for children is resulting in many young people facing problems with their status when they turn 18. This causes huge problems in areas including education, housing and work. Today (17.01.18) the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, TD, launched the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s much-needed resource for young people to help them navigate the immigration system, Immigration Status in Ireland: what do I need to know?
Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said, “We have developed this resource because of the very real need for young people – and those supporting them – to have a clear, user-friendly guide to the immigration system.
“Until aged 16 children are invisible in the immigration system, as they are assumed to have the same permission as their parents. However if they do not register in time, or have challenges accessing the right documentation, they can find they are blocked trying to continue their education, get a job or find housing. Once they are 18 it becomes much more difficult to resolve.
“This resource has been developed in answer to the often long-lasting damage caused by a lack of clarity in processes and inconsistencies in immigration permissions granted to young people. For a sustainable solution to these issues we need a specific agency or contact point established to take responsibility for providing information and legal advice on immigration to children, their carers and those who support them, including social workers.”
Rutendo Kandiwa, engineering student, said: “I have lived in Ireland since I was 12 and neither I nor my parents knew I was supposed to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) at age 16. When I went to register at 18 it was already too late and meant I no longer had a residence permit.
“This set in chain a number of difficulties for me as I wanted to attend college and continue with my life here in Ireland, but I was effectively illegally resident, even though I’d been here since I was 12. The worst was not knowing where to go to get the right information to correct the situation.
“Luckily I have now regularised my status and despite delays caused by this situation, hope to resume my studies at Trinity College, Dublin, later this year. If I had known what process I needed to follow none of would have happened.”
Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, TD, said: “This is a clean and clear resource which will be helpful for young people seeking information regarding their immigration status. Ensuring they register with the GNIB at age 16 will save them difficulties in the future and help the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service deliver an effective and efficient service. I am delighted to launch this resource today.”
Note to editors
Pippa Woolnough, Immigrant Council of Ireland,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 085 8640682