New Guidelines on Non-EEA Family Reunification were published by the Irish Government on the 31 of December 2013. According to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, the guidelines “set out a comprehensive statement of Irish national immigration policy in the area of family reunification.”
Our MIPEX partner, the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), evaluated the document as “a positive first step” in developing a policy in this area but one that “leaves several important issues unresolved and will not bring clarity to many Irish citizens and legal migrants who have been separated from their loved ones.”
What if these guidelines are used as the basis for the Bill? MIPEX argues that equal rights and opportunities in law for nationals, EU nationals, and third-country nationals sets favourable conditions for societal integration. These guidelines would not improve these conditions for integration, according to MIPEX, as they do not improve the legal position of separated families, who must still wait for an Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill to create Ireland’s first comprehensive law on family reunification.