Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (287)

Catherine Martin

Question:

287. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to tackle the issue of high costs for visa processing for family members of Irish citizens who wish to visit Irish family members here and particularly those costs associated with cases in which applicants have previously visited for similar reasons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16762/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the fees applicable are administrative fees set to cover the cost of processing a visa application.  The current fee for a short stay visa is €60 for a single journey visa and €100 for a multiple journey visa. 

The fee is classified as a diplomatic and consular fee and is therefore set by my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.  No increase in visa fees has been applied since 2004.

Each visa application is considered on its own merits and in accordance with the requirements for the particular visa type applied for at the time of application.  As a person’s circumstances may change from the time of one application to another, it is necessary for a Visa Officer to be satisfied that approval or not is given having regard to the particular individual circumstances pertinent at the time.  However, a multiple entry visa may also be applied for once the applicant has established a travel history to Ireland or to other EU countries.  The multiple entry visa will allow a person to make a number of short trips to Ireland within the period of validity of the visa which is generally two years for tourist or family visit types of application.

More generally, the Irish visa system is intended to be self-financing and the revenue generated is significant in ensuring this is case.  In the circumstances, I consider this a reasonable fee which compares favourably with the equivalent fee internationally. 

Comprehensive guidelines on visa applications including applicable fees are available on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service at www.inis.gov.ie.