Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Questions (254)

Jack Chambers


254. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the waiting times for processing short-term visit visas in tabular form; the reason the process, which previously could be completed in 15 days, can now take up to six months; if his attention has been drawn to the distress the lengthy delays are causing for families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53716/18]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I have been advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there has been an improvement in the processing times for visit visas in the New Delhi Visa Office in recent weeks and the Embassy website is being updated to reflect the new processing times for each visa category.

Visit visas are currently being processed within eight weeks of the application documents being received. It is hoped that this will be reduced further in the coming weeks. More generally, I am advised that processing times in Visa Offices may vary having regard to seasonal demands, the volume of applications received, the particular merits of individual applications, their complexity, whether the need to investigate or enquire further, and the resources available.

The Deputy can be assured that every effort is made to keep processing times to a minimum, and a number of measures have been put in place to deal with the increased demand for visas to visit Ireland. This has included the assignment of additional staff in the New Delhi Visa Office to help process these applications, and more generally the streamlining of visa processing where possible. The position in this regard continues to be kept under review.