Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (756)

Michael D. Higgins


878 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made on an application for residency status by a person (details supplied) in County Cork under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999; and the reason for the delay in this decision. [1520/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The person concerned applied for residency on 26 November 2002 on the basis of parentage of an Irish born child.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court in the cases of L & O, the separate procedure which then existed to enable persons to apply to reside in the State on the sole basis of parentage of an Irish born child ended on 19 February 2003. The Government decided that the separate procedure would not apply to cases which were outstanding on that date. There are a large number of such cases outstanding at present, including the case to which the Deputy refers.

Where such a person does not have an alternative legal basis for remaining in this jurisdiction the issue of permission to remain will be considered — but only in the context of a Ministerial proposal to deport him or her. In that context the person will be notified of the proposal and given an opportunity to make representations in relation to it. If, in the light of those representations and the range of factors set out in section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999, a decision is made not to make a deportation order the person will be given leave to remain on a humanitarian basis. Because of the large number of such cases on hand I am unable to say at this stage when the case referred to by the Deputy will be examined.