The Immigrant Council of Ireland has accused the State of operating anti-family policies.

According to the organisation, the Government is causing heartache to thousands of immigrants seeking to be reunited with spouses and families.

Around 2,500 people contacted the council over the last year with the most frequently asked questions relating to family reunification, attaining residency and work permit problems.

ICI Executive Chairperson, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, welcomed the Tánaiste's decision to allow spouses of some highly skilled groups automatic working visas. However, she said the move was too exclusive.