Supreme Court ruling on Luximon & Balchand
Yesterday the Irish Supreme Court made a historic ruling in the Luximon and Balchand cases. It found the Minister for Justice, when considering applications for a change of status of timed out students/undocumented migrants, is required by law to consider their private and family life rights.
While the judgement itself relates to a very specific legal point, the potential impact for many people who arrived in Ireland on valid student visas and became unregularised through no fault of their own, is huge.
For example, it could give security and peace of mind for people like Grace* who the Immigrant Council is supporting. Grace arrived from North Africa in 2008 on student permission. She completed 7 years of student permission, including a year on the Student Graduate Visa, and has been timed out for a year now.
Grace has worked throughout her time in Ireland and has been an active member of her community. During this time, Grace had two children, who are also undocumented. The 7 and 8 year old were born in Ireland and have never been out of the country. Grace's children are in school here and believe they are as Irish as their classmates.
Horrifically, Grace was a victim of domestic violence for a number of years by her abusive spouse. She sought to regularise her status as a timed out student on the basis of being a victim of domestic violence as well as the parent of two children born here in the State.
But her application to regularise her status and the status of her children was refused as the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service didn't feel they had to consider Grace and her children's family and private rights in their decision-making. They requested she leave the State.
Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Luximon/Balchand will now require INIS to consider Grace's family and private life rights. And hopefully, it will lead to a positive decision for her and her children as well as the other hundreds of families in a similar situation, who live in and contribute to Irish society.
If you have any questions about this ruling, please call our helpline 01 674 0200. Open 10am until 1pm and 2pm until 5pm this week.
*not her real name