Update: Afghanistan Assistance Programme
Since the commencement of the State's Afghanistan Assistance Programme, the Immigrant Council of Ireland and many other civil society agencies and legal practitioners have been supporting Afghan nationals in Ireland to navigate the process of applying to be joined by family members under the Afghan Admissions Programme.
Unsurprisingly, given the events in Afghanistan since the Taliban take over last year, the levels of stress and concern felt by those with loved ones in danger has been immense. When first announced, the minor children of beneficiaries who were potentially eligible for this scheme were excluded from applications.
This position has now been changed by the Department of Justice, as communicated by the updated FAQ document of February 16th, one week before the official closing date for the scheme.
While this change is very welcome, we are concerned now that potential sponsor applicants and their families do not have sufficient time to engage with the process before the scheme closes, and for that reason we have written to the Department as a matter of urgency seeking an extension of the deadline.
We will keep the public informed about the situation.
UPDATE: We're happy to announce that after we contacted the Department of Justice, they have announced an extension for applications to the Afghan Assistance Programme to 11 March 2022.