James and Shanti came to Ireland from India in 2001, after James was offered a promising job as a care assistant in a nursing home. They sold their home, placed their two daughters in boarding school in India, and moved to Ireland. They had been living in Ireland for seven years when the economic crisis began. The nursing home decided not to renew James’ work permit, and he found that no employer wanted to take on the expense of sponsoring him for a new one. At the same time, James’ mother suddenly became ill and all his savings went to pay for her medical care. James and Shanti found themselves without any resources to continue living in Ireland.
James contacted his local Citizen’s Information Centre for advice, and they put him in touch with IOM. The couple, who could not afford plane tickets to India, were relieved to learn that their travel expenses would be paid for. IOM Ireland arranged for their travel, and they also knew that they could contact IOM Hyderabad in India once they returned.
Although they were excited to be returning, the couple worried that James would struggle to find work in India. They had to be able to meet the costs of their children’s education and the ongoing medical expenses of James’ mother. They decided to apply for reintegration assistance, which James put toward the purchase of a reliable, second-hand car that he could use to become a taxi driver. Knowing that they had this opportunity helped them feel secure in their decision to return. There was no doubt that they would be able to earn a good living at home.
“If other Indians are facing difficulty in Ireland, it is better to return to India.”
James and Shanti returned to India and were reunited with their family in June 2010. They lived with relatives until James began his work as a taxi driver. James said, “IOM is very helpful in assisting people, and provides an opportunity to earn a sustainable livelihood.” Within a year, James reported that he could support himself and his family with his taxi business.