The Minister for Justice has said that migrants who enter Ireland with ‘false or no’ documentation are free to seek work in the country after six months.
He furthered clarified that if migrants had been admitted to the international protection process – if they had claimed asylum in the state – that they were not required to apply for an employment permit in order to legally obtain employment.
Minister Simon Harris told Independent TD Carol Nolan in response to a Parliamentary Question that “whether an applicant was in possession of a valid travel document upon entering the State is not in itself a determining factor in assessing eligibility for a labour market permission.”
He said that all those who claimed to be refugees “have access to both employment or self-employment” if their applications for asylum had not been been decided within 6 months of arrival.
Last month, it was confirmed by the Department of Justice, that a total of 5,074 persons presented either “false or no documentation” on arrival in Ireland from January to November of 2022 – and were then allowed to apply for asylum here.
Deputy Nolan asked the Minister to “clarify whether persons arriving into the State without documentation, valid documentation or false documentation, and who then request international protection, can go on to access the labour market after a period of six months.”
The Minister responded: “If a person indicates or is identified as being in need of international protection, they are admitted to the international protection process. As the Deputy is aware, international protection applicants are not required to apply for an employment permit from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to legally obtain employment in the State.”
“The European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 as amended, provide access to both employment and self-employment for any applicant who has not received a first instance decision within 6 months of making their international protection application, and providing that they have co-operated with the international protection process.”
“Labour market access permission is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be renewed until a final decision is made on the person’s international protection application.”
“Whether an applicant was in possession of a valid travel document upon entering the State is not in itself a determining factor in assessing eligibility for a labour market permission,” the reply continued.
“The Labour Market Access Unit (LMAU) of my Department will request that all applicants make reasonable efforts to obtain identity documents to assist with their application for a labour market permission,” the Minister said.