Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (297)

Mary Wallace


383 Ms M. Wallace asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the average length of time an asylum seeker can expect to spend at the Mosney Reception Centre awaiting a decision with regard to their future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6748/04]

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

The amount of time asylum seekers spend in State provided accommodation is very much linked to processing times for asylum applications. In this regard, action has been and will continue to be taken by my Department to reduce the processing times for asylum applications including strengthening of the refugee determination agencies, namely the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal by the provision of additional staff and resources to those organisations; and the introduction of amendments to the Refugee Act, 1996 contained in the Immigration Act, 2003 to facilitate the processing of applications for asylum within shorter time limits.

The length of time spent by asylum seekers in Mosney is dependent on the time taken to process their applications but a significant majority of the current residents have been accommodated there for 12 months or less.