& # 39; Long-awaited & # 39; and & # 39; life changing & # 39; is how the Migrant Rights Center Ireland describes a new visa regime launched today.
The new program, announced by Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, will allow some non-EEA nationals to remain in Ireland.
Those who have studied here from 2005 to 2010 can apply for the next three months from today until 20 January.
"This is a long-awaited regulation and it is life-changing for people who qualify," said MRCI assistant director Helen Lowry.
"Regularization schemes are good for families, the economy and our society.
"In terms of the scheme itself much depends on the approach of the immigration authorities.
Ms. Lowry says it will not affect everyone, but is a step in the right direction.
"We're talking about undocumented migrants who are deeply embedded in Irish communities, working families up and down the entire width and breadth of the country, whose lives could potentially be transformed from a scheme like this," she said.
"Many people are not eligible for this scheme that has been living in the country for a long time and making a very valuable contribution."