Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Questions (226)

Bríd Smith


226. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of applications since 1 January 2016 for visas pursuant to the policy document on non-EEA family reunification made by persons here granted international protection; the number of visa applications granted to family members of such sponsors; if the grant was at first instance or on appeal; the number of the sponsors that did not meet the financial criteria in the policy document; and the number of the sponsors which were under 18 years of age (details supplied) [30448/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The policy document referred to by the Deputy is a general policy to cover the broad range of persons legally in the State who wish to apply for their family members to join them. I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, as the criteria for qualification under the policy does not consider the original basis by which the sponsor came to have permission to be in the State, the data requested by the Deputy is not available.

The usual manner by which persons who have been granted refugee status by the State can seek family reunification is in accordance with the International Protection Act 2015. Specifically, sections 56 and 57 provide for reunification where the family member is as defined in section 56(9) of that Act. There have been 402 family members granted family reunification under the provisions of the Act since the commencement of the provisions on 31 December 2016.

In addition, the Irish Humanitarian Admissions Programme 2 (IHAP) was established to provide humanitarian admission to Ireland for 530 eligible family members of Irish citizens and those with protection status in Ireland. The first call for proposals was issued in June 2018 which has led to a total of 98 applications being granted in respect of 166 beneficiaries. To date, of the 166 people granted permission, 92 have actually arrived in the State.

A second call for proposals under the IHAP issued in December 2018, with a closing date for proposals of 8 February 2019. Processing of proposals under the second call is underway and it is expected that the majority of decisions under this call will issue by September 2019.