New resource to help young people navigate complex immigration system
2018-02-01 17:15:00 -

A lack of clarity and consistency in the Irish immigration system for children is resulting in many young people facing problems with their status when they turn 18 - severely limiting their access to education, housing, and work. 


But the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) aims to help young immigrants navigate the often complex Irish system with a new resource – Immigration Status in Ireland: what do I need to know? — which was launched by Minister of State for Immigration David Stanton late last month. 


“We have developed this resource because of the very real need for young people, and those supporting them, to have a clear, user-friendly guide to the immigration system,” said ICI chief executive Brian Killoran.


“Until age 16, children are invisible in the immigration system, as they are assumed to have the same permission as their parents. However, if they do not register in time, or have challenges accessing the right documentation, they can find they are blocked trying to continue their education, get a job or find housing. Once they are 18 it becomes much more difficult to resolve.”


One young person who faced such difficulties is Rutendo Kandiwa, an engineering student at Trinity College Dublin.


“I have lived in Ireland since I was 12 and neither I nor my parents knew I was supposed to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) at age 16,” he said. “When I went to register at 18 it was already too late and meant I no longer had a residence permit.


“This sets in chain a number of difficulties for me as I wanted to attend college and continue with my life here in Ireland, but I was effectively illegally resident, even though I’d been here since I was 12. The worst was not knowing where to go to get the right information to correct the situation.


“Luckily I have now regularised my status and despite delays caused by this situation, hope to resume my studies [at TCD] later this year. If I had known what process I needed to follow, none of this would have happened.”


Killoran said the new resource, available from the ICI website,  “has been developed in answer to the often long-lasting damage caused by a lack of clarity in processes and inconsistencies in immigration permissions granted to young people. 


“For a sustainable solution to these issues, we need a specific agency or contact point established to take responsibility for providing information and legal advice on immigration to children, their carers and those who support them, including social workers.”


Minister of State David Stanton said: “This is a clean and clear resource which will be helpful for young people seeking information regarding their immigration status. 


“Ensuring they register with the GNIB at age 16 will save them difficulties in the future and help the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service deliver an effective and efficient service.”

Immigration Status in Ireland: what do I need to know? can be downloaded from


TAGS : Immigrant Council
Other Immigration News
Most Read
Most Commented