A further 500 people fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan are to be granted visas to come to Ireland.
The new Afghan Admission Programme will allow Afghans already living in Ireland to apply to bring their close family members here to live with them.
They will be permitted to live and work in Ireland for two years before they have to apply for an extension.
Speaking this afternoon, the Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman said vulnerable people will be prioritised.
“The type of people that are receiving these humanitarian visas are people who are frontline human rights defenders, people who are working and supporting women’s NGOs, journalists, members of the LGBTI+ community and other people who are particularly vulnerable to the Taliban takeover,” he said.
The 500 new visas are on top of the more than 670 visas that have already been granted to Afghans so far this year.
Minister O’Gorman said there is a “real range of talents” in the people arriving.
“Some are journalists and there are a number of young women who were very involved in STEM in Afghanistan and had specific threats made against them by the Taliban,” he said.
“We are looking forward to supporting and integrating these individuals and their families into communities across the country.”
Under the plan, Afghans living in Ireland on or before September 1st will be able to nominate up to four close family members to come and live here with them.
Applications for the programme will open in December.
The programme is open to people who are currently living in Afghanistan or who have fled to certain neighbouring countries.
The Government has said it will work with NGOs to help get them to Ireland safely.
Reporting from Stephanie Rohan