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Community Groups : Mayo Intercultural Action Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

New Scheme for Undocumented Migrant Workers
By Michelle Rooney
10, Oct 2009 - 12:30

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The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform has recently made available an opportunity for undocumented migrant workers to regularise their immigration status.  Under the new scheme, which is open from 1 October to 31 December 2009 only. Migrant workers who have become undocumented through no fault of their own can apply for temporary residence permission for four months.  Within this four month period they can apply to obtain an employment permit from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.  

Migrant workers in Ireland become undocumented through no fault of their own for many reasons, amongst them are workplace exploitation, deception or negligence on the part of employers in failing to renew employment permits for employees, or loss of employment without warning.  This scheme is specifically for migrant workers who held an employment permit in Ireland at one time and have since become undocumented.  In order to benefit from this an application form must be completed and submitted to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform before 31 December 2009.  Application forms are available from the Department’s Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website.

Michelle Rooney of MIA said, “Undocumented migrant workers have been living on the margins of our society at risk of exploitation, without equal access to services and in fear of deportation.  This scheme will offer some undocumented workers the opportunity to regularise their situations and to continue to build the lives they have made in Ireland.  However the difficulties of living as an undocumented person in Ireland will continue for many who can not avail of this scheme.  It is important to recognise the need to address the plight of all undocumented persons in Ireland.” 

If would like to find out more about the new employment scheme and recent announcements by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform you can contact Mayo Intercultural Action on 094 9044511, or your local Citizens Information Centre.   

Background to MIA

MIA was founded in August 2004, is a support and advocacy group for asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants and their families living in Mayo. We work creatively to promote integration and cross-cultural exchange delivering a range of projects and initiatives ourselves and in conjunction with other organisations. These include: 

  • Education, Training and Employment Project for Migrants: Naisc Nua  (New Links) 
  • Education, Employment and Capacity Building Support Programmes
  • Integration Programmes: English language support; Intercultural crafts; Intercultural music projects; Irish language classes; Community arts projects etc
  • Information, Advocacy and Support Centre for migrants
  • Awareness Raising Projects
  • Alliance and Policy Development locally, regionally and nationally
  • Intercultural youth work
  • Primary Health Care Pilot project in Ballina

 Currently, we have two part-time staff members and two Community Employment Scheme workers and in July last, we were awarded the Vodafone World of Difference Award which funded one staff member for one year. We rely heavily on volunteer effort to continue the work of MIA with more than 25 committed volunteers contributing to our programmes. 

In 2006, MIA commissioned and published a report on immigration, integration and service provision: Building a Diverse Mayo. This report was the first of its kind in the country and was launched by Mary Robinson, former Irish President and UN Human Rights Commissioner. Mrs. Robinson, also paid our organisation another visit and this was recently featured on RTE’s ‘Would You Believe?’ 

MIA was recently nominated for a prestigious MAMA award and in June last, and Therese Ruane was presented with a World Refugee Day Award. These awards are recognition of the importance and calibre of the work carried out by MIA and brought national focus to the issues of immigration and integration. 

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