Government officials in Ireland have published details about the changes to immigration laws that will occur as a result of the new Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill.
According to the Irish government, the bill replaces all of the present legislation on immigration and puts in place an integrated statutory framework for the development and implementation of government immigration policies into the future. Some of the immigration laws that will be replaced date back to 1935.
What's more, the bill lays the foundation for meeting the Agreed Programme for Government commitments relating to immigration and asylum. Once the laws have been changed, they will create rules which should help with existing family reunification schemes.
Publishing the bill, Brian Lenihan, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, commented: "This is landmark legislation. It gives us a unified code of immigration law that will enable us to manage non-EU inward migration and complements the existing law governing the free movement of EU citizens.
"It brings together into one process the business of determining whether a person who claims refugee status will be permitted to stay in the state.
"It also puts on a statutory footing a new status of long-term residence, as an acknowledgment of the contribution that many migrants make to their adopted society."