Thursday, 27 June 2019

Questions (29, 31, 35)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

29. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications received to date in 2019 for work permits for chefs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26951/19]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

31. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the average time it takes to process an application for a work permit; the number of applications received in 2018; the number refused and granted; her plans to streamline the process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26950/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

35. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications for employment permits received in each month to date in 2019; if the applications are from trusted partners or standard; the number of reviews carried out in each month for both categories; the numbers approved and refused each month; the waiting list for processing applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26957/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29, 31 and 35 together.

As the economy improves and we approach full employment my Department has experienced a high volume of employment permit applications which has led to delays in processing applications. At the end of May 2019 there was a 16% increase in the amount of applications received (7,407 applications received) over the same period in 2018. At the same time there has been a 53% increase in the amount of applications processed (7,353 applications processed) compared to the same period last year, clearly demonstrating that productivity is improving. It is anticipated that this month, June 2019, will be the busiest month for processing applications in more than 10 years.

In 2018 my Department received 16,768 permit applications granting 13,398 and refusing 1,384. The average length of time it has taken to process an employment permit application to date in 2019 is 37 business days. To date in 2019 my Department has received 370 employment permit applications for chefs of which 268 have issued. At the end of May 2019, there were 2,436 permit applications in the processing queue, down from a peak of 3,230 in September 2018.

Employment Permits section is working to reduce the current waiting times of four weeks for Trusted Partner applications which accounts for 71% of total applications and twelve weeks for Standard applications , accounting for 29% of applications.

To reduce processing times, the Employment Permits section has introduced a number of operational changes, streamlined processes and implemented ICT solutions. Additional staffing resources have also been assigned to the section and a fast track training programme has been devised and implemented . In addition an independent Business Process Reengineering Review for the Employment Permits section will commence shortly as a first step in the development of a new IT processing system which will take advantage of all the new technologies available, including full digitisation.

I can assure you that all available resources are being deployed with the aim of reducing processing times. My officials have been proactively engaging with customers to notify them of current delays through email, meetings and regular updates on the Employment Permits section of my Department’s website.

The statistics requested by the Deputy are attached.

Year 

Applications Received 

Standard 

Trusted Partner 

Total

2019

Jan 

287

885

1,172

Feb 

421

937

1,358

Mar

325

897

1,222

Apr

389

1,218

1,607

May

438

1,610

2,048

TOTAL

1,860

5,547

7,407

Year 

Permits Issued

Standard 

Trusted Partner 

Total

2019

Jan 

368

1,190

1,558

Feb 

381

821

1,202

Mar

359

797

1,156

Apr

249

865

1,114

May

275

1,085

1,360

TOTAL

1,632

4,758

6,390

Year 

Month

* Reviews Accepted

Reviews Withdrawn

Reviews Refused

Total Decisions

2019

Jan 

32

3

21

56

Feb 

38

5

38

81

Mar

28

6

37

71

Apr

34

2

34

70

May

34

4

37

75

TOTAL

166

20

167

353

* Reviews are not categorised by Trusted Partner / Standard Application Type

Processing Queue as at May 2019

2,436