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  1. The Government published the FAQs Document yesterday, 30 December 2021: https://www.irishimmigration.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/AAP-FAQ-Document-301221.pdf Having considered the document, the following issues and questions stand out as relevant.


  1. The Department prefers if the application form is filled out electronically and if the application and supporting documents are submitted by email.


  1. If the application form is filled out electronically, it should be saved twice in PDF, once unsigned and a second time signed. This means that the applicant will have to print the saved PDF copy, sign it in all the appropriate places, and then save the signed copy a second time.


  1. Both the signed and unsigned copies need to be emailed to the Department and they ask that preferably the PDF files be named as follows:





  1. Both the completed editable PDF (without signatures) and the pdf (with signatures) are to be emailed to aap@justice.ie.


  1. The Department will only accept one application per person and per household. So, a husband and wife (who are living in the same household), both of whom want to apply for members of their respective families, cannot submit two separate applications. They can only submit one application, and for a maximum of 4 family members. This is likely to cause very serious problems to some families.


  1. The Department will follow the following decision-making progress:


  • The first thing to consider will be the quality of the application form itself: Has the application been fully completed, properly witnessed etc.? If the application form is deemed incomplete, no further processing will take place. The proposer will be advised of the decision and he or she can then submit an appeal.


  • The second factor to consider will be whether the criteria relating to the Proposers is met: Has the proposer met the relevant criteria (e.g. established identity, established residency in the State and is of good character etc.)? If the proposer is approved, then and only then will a review of the beneficiaries particulars be progressed. If the Proposer fails to meet the relevant criteria then all the attaching beneficiaries are deemed to have been refused. The proposer will be notified of the decision and can invoke the appeals mechanism as set out.


  • Finally, the Department will consider the adherence to the criteria relating to the individual potential beneficiaries: This will be an individual assessment of each of the beneficiaries (e.g. established identity and priority group etc.). approval of the proposer application does not automatically mean that all four beneficiaries will be approved. Each potential beneficiary will be judged on their own merits. It is possible that some if not all potential beneficiaries will not be granted, notwithstanding that the application has been accepted.


  1. While the FAQs Document states that the 500 places available will not be exceeded and that Proposer Applicants can only propose 4 Beneficiaries, at the same time, the FAQs document states the following (at Page 5):


  • “If, following a review of all applications, the 500 places have not been filled, consideration will then – and only then – be given to beneficiaries in excess of four, and only if so doing results in full family reunification in Ireland. Accordingly grants over four, if any, will be exceptional and will not exceed five under any circumstances. The Afghan Admission Programme is not the only family reunification programme operated by the Irish State, therefore other avenues remain open to progress other requests.”


  1. In light of this, a Proposer who has a spouse and 4 or more minor children should probably apply in respect of all of them, and it will be difficult to understand a decision granting the application in respect of some of the family members. In order to apply for the 5th or subsequent family member, the proposer will have to print an extra copy of Section 2A per every additional proposed beneficiary, and name it “Information about Proposed Beneficiary (Number 5)”, “(Number 6)” etc.


  1. The FAQs states (also at Page 5) that submission of a Passport is NOT essential and applications can be made in respect of beneficiaries who do not have a Passport:


  • “If your proposed beneficiary does not have a passport, certain other documents containing a clear passport-style photograph and their name and date of birth may be accepted. To be accepted, it must have been issued originally for the purpose of verifying identity by a national authority or by a recognised non-governmental organisation, e.g. UNHCR.”


  1. It appears that, where a Proposed Beneficiary does not have a Passport to verify his or her identity, the Department will accept another Photo ID but only if it issued for the purpose of verifying the person’s identity, and where the document was issued by the Afghan authorities or by a recognised NGO such as UNHCR.


  1. The FAQs document, however, immediately clarifies the previous statement as follows:


           “Please note:


             Birth certificates and other documents issued to verify relationships are not accepted as evidence of identity.


  1. This statement seems to suggest that the Department considers Birth Certificates as documents issued to verify relationships but not identity. If the authenticity, genuineness and validity of a Birth Certificate is accepted (for example if it is legalized by Afghan authorities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), it is difficult to understand how such a Birth Certificate could not be deemed sufficient to establish identity, or to presume identity, particularly if cogent reasons are given as to why a Passport cannot be obtained.


  1. It is not clear what the Department means by “and other documents issued to verify relationships”. It is most notable that neither the FAQs Document, nor the Guidance Document or the Application Form refer to the Tazkera, the Afghan National ID Card, which arguably establishes a person’s identity, residence and nationality, more so if the document or an English translation of same has been legalized by Afghan authorities such as the Ministry of the Interior and/or of Foreign Affairs.


  1. Regarding Eligible Family Members, the FAQs Document (at Page 6) (and the Guidance Document at Page 18) state that Proposed Beneficiary must fall under one of the following 7 categories:


  • Spouse/partner: This beneficiary will be prioritised;
  • Adult Child (unmarried and without dependants);
  • Minor Child (unmarried and without dependants): This beneficiary will be prioritised;
  • A Related Minor Child without parents (unmarried and without dependants) for whom the Proposer has parental responsibility, e.g., Sibling, Orphaned Niece/Nephew/Grandchild; Evidence of legal guardianship and the consent in writing with photographic ID of the guardian must be provided);
  • Parent: This beneficiary will be prioritised;
  • Grandparent;
  • A Vulnerable Adult Close Family Member (who does not have a spouse/partner or other close relative to support them).


  1. Question 2A.8 of the Application Form, however, only lists 6 Categories of Proposed Beneficiary as it does not list unmarried Adult Children:


  • Spouse/partner;
  • Adult Child (unmarried and without dependants);
  • Minor Child / Adopted Child;
  • Related Minor Child without parents;
  • Parent: This beneficiary will be prioritised;
  • Grandparent;
  • Vulnerable Adult Close Family Member.


  1. It is to be assumed, but it is not certain, that in filling out Question 2A.8 in respect of an unmarried Adult Child, the appropriate category to be ticked will be vulnerable adult close family member. The difficulty with this is that the Policy Document states (at Page 20) that the 500 places will be allocated on the basis of the risk to freedom and safety faced by the proposed beneficiaries, and that, in making this assessment, regard will be had to the vulnerability to risk of each individual and in particular to the vulnerability of close family members who are:


  • Older persons;
  • Children;
  • Single female parents;
  • Single women and girls;
  • Persons with disabilities;
  • Persons whose previous employment exposes them to risk (e.g. UN; EU staff).


  1. Does this mean that that Adult Sons who do not have a disability or who are not at risk due to their previous employment might be deemed ineligible because they are not deemed to be vulnerable? They may be as vulnerable as a woman, but for different reasons not related to their sex.


  1. In relation to Siblings, it appears that the only Siblings who will be eligible will be:


  • Unmarried Minor Siblings Without Parents and Without Dependents (category (c) above), and


  • Adult Siblings Who are Vulnerablee. either a Sister, or a Brother/Sister with a Disability, or a Brother/Sister whose previous employment exposes them to risk AND Who Do Not Have a Spouse/Partner or other Close Relative to Support Them.


  1. Does this mean that a Proposer will not be able to sponsor Unmarried Minor Sibling if he or she is also applying for his/her Parents? Will these Siblings be ineligible? It is difficult to understand.


  1. What about Adult Siblings who are at risk / vulnerable because of their previous employment but who are married and maybe have children? A Proposer may want to sponsor two married brothers and / or two married nephews who are at risk because of their previous employment with the previous government. He may not wish to apply for their respective wives and children, only for them because they are at risk. According to the Guidance Document and the FAQs Document they would appear to be ineligible, but this does not make sense given the fa t that the vast majority of Afghans marry and have children at a relatively young age. It is reasonable to assume that most Afghans who were in employment during the previous government and who are at risk because of that, are likely to be married and possibly have children. This is certainly the case of all our clients whose family members are at risk because of their previous employment.


  1. The FAQs Document states at page 8 that People with leave to remain or in the EU Treaty Rights process” will NOT be eligible to apply for family members UNLESS they are a national of Afghanistan or a former national from Afghanistan who is now a naturalised Irish Citizen (and have been legally resident in Ireland on or before 1st September 2021). Page 3 of the Guidance Document states the same.


  1. The reference to “people with leave to remain or in the EU Treaty Rights process” is unclear. In relation to “people with leave to remain”, they will clearly be eligible to apply if they are nationals from Afghanistan.


  1. The reference to “people in the EU Treaty Rights process”, is even more unclear: If an Afghan national proposer has applied for and been issued an EU Residence Card on or before 1st September 2021, then this person will clearly be eligible. The situation is less clear if the Afghan national proposer has applied for an EU Residence Card and has been granted only a temporary 6-months’ permission to remain pending the outcome of the application. Surely, they are legally resident in Ireland.


  1. More problematic is the statement that the proposer must be “a former national from Afghanistan who is now a naturalised Irish Citizen”. Does this exclude naturalized citizens of other EU Member States who are in Ireland in the exercise of their EUTR Rights, or does it exclude naturalised British Afghan Citizens, so many of whom have been resident in Ireland? Can a British citizen resident in Ireland who is in possession of an expired Afghan Passport be excluded from applying for his close family members who are at risk in Afghanistan? This does not seem to be a reasonable or equittable proposition.


  1. In relation to Travel Documents, the FAQs Document also states at Page 8:


  • Will the Department of Justice issue travel documents for successful beneficiaries? Each beneficiary is required to have a current valid passport for travel to this State. There is no automatic entitlement for beneficiaries to apply for/be granted an Irish Travel Document. See page 16 of the guidance document for further information


  1. Page 16 of the Guidance Document does not add anything to this. We understand this to mean that, while there is no automatic entitlement to apply for / be granted an Irish Travel Document, it is certainly possible for beneficiaries to apply for / be granted one. The Department will possibly need to be persuaded why it is not possible for the beneficiary to apply for / be granted an Afghan Passport.