Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Jim Higgins

Question:

46 Mr. Higgins (Mayo) asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of Vietnamese boat people who were admitted to the State and granted refugee status; the number who subsequently brought members of their extended family to reside here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6594/98]

A total of 212 Vietnamese refugees were admitted to Ireland in 1979. Since 1981, under family reunification programmes available to all Vietnamese refugees, a total of 378 relatives have been admitted. Preference was given to spouses, children, unmarried brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents of refugees.

Of the total Vietnamese and relatives admitted to Ireland, 147 have departed for other countries and a further 30 have died. Some 155 children of Vietnamese refugees have been born here and are, of course, Irish citizens. All the refugees and their relatives here are eligible for citizenship.