A scheme will open next month to allow undocumented migrants in Ireland to regularise their status here.
While there are no totally reliable figures the Department of Justice estimated there are around 17,000 undocumented in Ireland, including 3,000 children.
The scheme will open in January for people who’ve been here for four years without permission, or three years if they have children.
Those approved to remain in Ireland would be granted full access to the labour market.
It will cost 550 euro for an individual to apply, or 700 euro for a family unit.
Applicants must also meet standards on good behaviour and criminal record.
However, convictions for minor offences will not result in disqualification on their own.