Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme

Note: As of 21/08/2014 documents and/or queries can no longer be submitted to the email address. If you wish to correspond with INIS in relation to your application please do so in writing to SHAP Application, PO Box 10279, Dublin 1


Please note that the closing date for the receipt of SHAP applications is Wednesday 30 April 2014 at 5.00pm

In response to the current humanitarian crisis in Syria the Minister for Justice and Equality is putting in place a humanitarian initiative - the Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme (SHAP) – that will focus on offering temporary Irish residence to vulnerable persons who are present in Syria, or who have fled from Syria to surrounding countries since the outbreak of the civil war, who have close family members residing in the State.


This Programme will allow naturalised Irish citizens of Syrian birth and Syrian nationals already lawfully resident in the State, to make application for vulnerable close family members to join them in Ireland on a temporary basis for up to two years. These are persons who are considered by the family member present in Ireland ("sponsor") to be most at risk. A sponsor may be a single person or the head of a family unit.


This Programme is an additional initiative in response to the crisis in Syria and is without prejudice to other avenues whereby Syrian nationals might lawfully enter the State, such as family reunification for the family members of refugees and persons with subsidiary protection, and UNHCR’s resettlement programme.


A quota of two family members per sponsor is being established under the Programme. However, sponsors can submit applications for up to four of their most vulnerable family members, two of whom should be prioritised by the sponsor for admission in the first instance. In order to protect family unity and to address family circumstances in a considered, humane and reasonable way, the intention would be to apply the quota rule flexibly to avoid the breaking up of family units, having regard to an overall quota of entrants into the State being established for the Programme. These quotas will be kept under review in the context of the number of applications received and developing circumstances.


Operational Dates

The Humanitarian Admission Programme will come into operation on 14 March 2014. The final date for the submission of applications under the Programme will be 30 April 2014.   



Priority will be given to applications in respect of persons deemed to be the most vulnerable (and who do not present any evident concerns relating to community safety or State security), namely:

  • elderly parents;
  • children;
  • unaccompanied mothers and their children;
  • single women and girls at risk;
  • disabled persons.


However, this does not exclude any other family member who has been identified by the sponsor as being at serious risk.


The Minister’s decision on who should come to Ireland under the Programme will be final.


Sponsorship requirements and application process


1.         A sponsor may nominate up to four potential beneficiaries, two of whom should be identified for immediate consideration for admission in the first instance subject to sponsors meeting the requirements of the Programme.  Sponsors must undertake to support and maintain family members admitted under the Programme for the duration of their temporary residence in the State.


  • Sponsors must complete the ‘SHAP’ application form and provide any relevant documentation required to confirm the following information –



  • name, address, date of birth, background etc of the sponsor (and details of any family members residing with the sponsor);


  • ability to house and support incoming family members (beneficiaries):

§                                       proof of household income;

§                                       ownership or rental of place of residence;

§                                       the number of rooms in place of residence;

§                                       details of any other housing available to the sponsor.


Proposed Beneficiaries:

-                   names, address, dates of birth, etc of the proposed beneficiaries;

-                   relationship to sponsor (the closeness of the relationship will have a bearing on the decision);

-                   basis on which family members are considered to be vulnerable.


3.         Sponsors must prove the existence of the family relationship with the persons to be admitted with documentary and, if considered necessary by the Minister, DNA evidence.


4.         Sponsors will be required to make a declaration on oath that beneficiaries are of good character, have never been involved as combatants in the Syrian conflict and that they know of no reason why their presence in Ireland constitutes a danger to the community or to the security of the State or another EU country.


5.         Sponsors must take full responsibility and make a declaration of commitment to organise and cover the costs of travel of family members to be admitted to the State and supporting and maintaining them thereafter.


Application Forms must be sent to: 


SHAP Application

PO Box 12079

Dublin 1



Conditions of entry to the State and lawful residence of beneficiaries


1.                  Subject to good character and security checks and verification of identity, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service will grant temporary immigration permission for up to a two year period.  There is no automatic right to the renewal of any such permission granted. 


2.                  Sponsors will be issued with a letter of approval by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service in respect of those family members to be admitted to the State. This letter will detail the entitlements (if any) of beneficiaries arising under the Programme.


3.                  All beneficiaries under the Programme must be in possession of a valid passport, or travel document, and entry visa prior to travelling to the State.  Details in relation to the making of a visa application under the Programme will be provided to sponsors whose SHAP applications are approved. An essential requirement of the visa application process will be the provision by beneficiaries of appropriate documentary evidence of being screened, and/or, vaccinated where required against vaccine-preventable diseases.  Failure to provide such evidence will result in refusal of the visa application.


4.                  Persons of working age who are admitted to the State will be entitled to seek employment having been granted immigration permission. This entitlement will run for the duration of their temporary permission to be in the State.  

Persons admitted to the State will also have access to:

-                medical treatment or services, where such provision is essential and the person concerned or the sponsor does not have sufficient resources to pay for that treatment or service;

-                medical or other services  necessary for the protection of public health;

-                early childhood, primary or secondary education for persons under the age of 18 years.


5.         Persons admitted to the State shall not be entitled to apply for or receive any of the following benefits or services:

            -           a payment under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005;

            -           the provision of housing services by a housing authority.


6.         Queries in relation to the SHAP should be addressed to


SHAP Frequently Asked Questions (Size 40KB)  This document is a pdf