Ireland has launched an initiative to accept applications for refugees who would like to bring their family members to the country. According to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), up to 530 people will be given the chance to move to Ireland as part of the Humanitarian Admission Programme II.
Scheme covers ten countries of origin
Officially announced on Saturday by Irish ministers Charlie Flanagan and David Stanton, the programme offers Irish citizens as well as those with refugee status and subsidiary protection the chance to apply in the name of a family member aboard to be able to have them join them in the country. Beneficiaries can include parents, grandparents, adult children and vulnerable family members for whom the person submitting the application is the primary caregiver.
The programme is open to citizens of the ten main countries of origin for refugees name in UNHCR annual reports: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Myanmar, Eritrea, and Burundi.
The candidates will have six weeks to submit their applications prior to the June 30 deadline.
Those offering economic support will be given priority status.
The initiative is the second of its type activated in recent years facilitating family reunification in Ireland. The first Humanitarian Admission Programme was in 2014 and brought 111 Syrians to Ireland to be reunited with family members. The programme will give precedence to applications in which the person submitting it can prove that they have the financial means to support their family members on their arrival.
Priority will also be given to those who are able to provide housing for potential beneficiaries. However, if the application is approved, the beneficiary will have the right to their own status independent of their family member. Minister for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton said that the program reiterates the government's commitment to responding to humanitarian crises in a positive manner and that this is important for long-term integration and a sense of community belonging.