Two asylum-seeking healthcare workers who were at risk of deportation have now been granted permission to remain in the state.
One of the healthcare workers, who worked in a nursing home and caught Covid in the course of her work, spoke to the Irish Examiner previously about her fear of being deported.
Speaking yesterday, the worker said she was so relieved when she was granted permission to remain in the state for a further three years.
"My lawyer called me on Friday and I received a letter [yesterday]."
She says she was delighted when she found out the good news. "I was actually surprised, [the decision] didn't take too long."
This means she is also able to return to work in the nursing home.
"I am able to go back to work, I just have to apply for my GNIB card. I can't wait to go back, I really missed it."
In November, the two healthcare workers received a letter from the Department of Justice saying they had been refused permission to remain in the State.
When someone receives this letter, they must indicate within five days that they will voluntarily leave, or they will be served with a deportation order.
The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) condemned the situation at the time, and released a new statement yesterday.
"The expulsion notices that were served on migrant healthcare workers who had dedicated their lives to protecting vulnerable Irish nationals in nursing homes were simply cruel," said the statement.
MASI also reiterated the call they made in May 2020, asking the Minister for Justice to offer long-term residency to all non-EU nationals in the state during the pandemic.
MASI also encouraged the Minister to review and revoke all pending deportation orders, especially for people who worked on the frontline during the pandemic.
"The fact that the deportation orders cannot be acted upon due to the Covid-19 restrictions does not make the situation better, as people in the asylum system lose their right to work and entitlement to supports once a formal deportation order has been served on them."
The Department of Justice said it was unable to comment on individual cases, but "humanitarian factors, employment records and other factors are considered by the Minister as part of the permission to remain process."
"Each case is examined in detail on its individual merits, taking all factors into account."
The Department said its objective is to make decisions on international protection applications as soon as possible, but they said processing times have been impacted by public health restrictions.