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Policy Work

Our policy work is directly informed by the needs and experiences of Irish citizens engaging with our service and aims to promote solutions.

We identify barriers and campaign for change by lobbying and communicating with key stakeholders at both national and local levels – from the Irish public to policy makers in Leinster House. In particular, we advocate for policy reform around common challenges faced by returning Irish emigrants.

Over the years, we have successfully advocated for change around the application of the Habitual Residence Condition and lobbied for the expansion of immigration preclearance to de facto partners of Irish citizens returning from abroad.

Watch this video to see our advocacy in action—Crosscare’s Richard King explains how we successfully pitched this preclearance system for de facto partners to the Department of Justice based on the experiences of our clients.


Our policy work is grounded in evidence-based research on issues affecting members of Ireland’s diaspora whom we support on a daily basis. This research also informs the provision of our information and advocacy service for Irish emigrants and returning emigrants.

Working in partnership with Irish support organisations around the world and by connecting with Irish people around the world, we monitor emerging trends and contribute to an expanded understanding of Ireland’s diverse diaspora, their experiences and needs.

We continue to produce research and reports on wide-ranging topics including:

  • Access to social welfare for returning Irish emigrants
  • New Irish emigration and mental health
  • Administrative barriers facing Irish citizens returning home in crisis
  • Experiences of Irish emigrants of minority ethnic backgrounds


  • 2024


    Submission to the Interdepartmental Committee on Irish Abroad (May 2024) on implications of the proposed General Scheme of Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024 on returning Irish emigrants in need of social housing supports (including emergency accommodation). Submitted in partnership with Safe Home Ireland and the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas

  • 2022


    Presentation to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence on barriers facing returning Irish emigrants, alongside the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers (USA).

    • ‘Exploring migration experiences of Irish emigrants of minority ethnic backgrounds’ report is the first study to offer insights into the contemporary emigration experiences of Irish emigrants of various ethnic backgrounds currently living abroad or recently returned from living abroad.

  • 2021


    Ni neart go cur le cheile report examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Irish emigrant community in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States through the experiences and perspectives of the Irish emigrant support organisations.

  • 2019


    • Research on ‘Life in the UAE for new Irish emigrants’ published following outreach visit to the United Arab Emirates.

    • Results of an online survey of current and prospective Irish emigrants to the United Kingdom explored ‘What impact is Brexit having on Irish migration?

    Submission made to Diaspora Policy 2020-2025 addressing key areas– including accessible, targeted, and strategic support to connect, engage, recognise, and facilitate Global Irish communities abroad.

    ‘Coming Home in Crisis’ studied the impact of return on emigrants who face risk or vulnerability, setting out recommendations to address the range of challenges they encounter on return.

    • De Facto Pre-Clearance process established for Irish citizens returning with non-EU/EEA citizen partners, following ongoing engagement with the Department of Justice.

  • 2018


    • ‘A Hundred Thousand Welcomes?’ report published highlighting the re-emergence of the Habitual Residence Condition as an obstacle for returned Irish emigrants.

    Submission on impact of proposed pension reforms on Irish emigrants made to the Department of Social Protection’s Consultation on the Total Contributions Approach for State Pensions.

    Presentation to the Joint Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection on the re-emergence of the Habitual Residence Condition as a barrier in access to social welfare payments for returned Irish emigrants.

  • 2017


    Home for Good’ report published. Based on a survey of 400 Irish emigrants, it details the experiences of recently returned emigrants and outlines challenges they faced upon return.

    This formed the basis of our submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs commissioned ‘Indecon Economic Report on Addressing Challenges Faced by Returning Irish Emigrants’ published in 2018 which includes a number of our recommendations, including:

    • Improved Procedures for Housing for Vulnerable Returning Emigrants

    • Develop Pre-Clearance/Online De Facto Visa Applications

    • Ensure Consistency in Application of Habitual Residence Condition Guidelines

  • 2016


    • Research into the challenges for ‘Fly-in-fly-out’ (FIFO) workers in Australia published with the help of Irish support organisations in Australia. Printed resource for Irish emigrants considering FIFO created for distribution by Irish Consular Services and community groups in Australia.

    • ‘Barriers for returning Irish emigrants accessing homeless supports’ briefing paper submitted to Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Joe McHugh TD and the Interdepartmental Committee on the Diaspora.

    • ‘Irish emigrant perspectives on emigration’ report compiled in collaboration with the GAA on welfare experiences of Irish emigrants.

  • 2015


    ‘Mind How You Go’ report published on recent emigration from Ireland, based on a survey of 500 Irish emigrants.

  • 2014


    • Submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ‘Review of Ireland’s Engagement with the Diaspora’ including recommendations on voting rights for citizens abroad, a new Irish Emigrant Register, promoting collaboration amongst Emigrant Support Programme-funded groups, access to homeless services for citizens returning in crisis (particularly deportees), consistent application of the Habitual Residence Condition, and family reunification for citizens returning with non-EU/EEA family members.

    • ‘What is Canada Like?’ research published on the experiences of Irish working holiday participants.

  • 2012


    Survey explored emigration by bus to Britain for the purposes of employment, focusing on emigration prompted by crisis

  • 2010


    Department of Social Protection changed Habitual Residence Condition Operational Guidelines for Deciding Officers  to include specific reference to how returning Irish emigrants are assessed for social welfare payments, based on our recommendations to Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív TD.

  • 2008


    Presentation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Social and Family Affairs on the implications of the Habitual Residence Condition for returning Irish emigrants.

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