Ireland is offering money to immigrants to leave the recession-crippled Republic. The Irish Department of Justice has confirmed that it is opening an EU-funded project to persuade foreign workers and asylum seekers to return to their country of origin.
A spokeswoman told the Observer this weekend that the scheme will only apply to non-EU nationals living in the Republic and would involve the department spending almost €600,000 this year to pay for immigrants and their families to return to nations outside the European Union.
"The grants will not be given to individuals but rather the scheme will operate through projects and organisations," she added.
"They [immigrants] can apply for the fund only through organisations and community groups. It is the first time we have introduced the scheme."
The department has made it clear it had no projected figure in mind as to the number of immigrants the government hopes will take up the repatriation grants.
Advertisements promoting the scheme were published in Irish national newspapers on Friday. Application forms will also be available for non-EU nationals in the main immigration centre on Burgh Quay, Dublin.
The voluntary repatriation programme comes at a time of rising fears about the cost of immigration into Ireland.
Irish government to pay immigrants to go home | World news | The Observer
Why are we paying them? Most are here illegally!