Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (225)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire


225. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the immigration status of the persons who were adversely affected by the recent student recruitment agency closure; the measures to be put in place to ensure that international students are protected against another closure of this nature; the status of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the agency which was carried out by the Garda National Immigration Bureau; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38746/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Immigration Service of my Department is aware of the situation referred to by the Deputy and contacts between the Burgh Quay Registration Office and the Irish Council for International Students took place before the summer break in this regard.

Arrangements were put in place to facilitate any continuing language students who had paid their second year fees to the company rather than directly to a college. Some of these courses were due to start last July; however, students were allowed to defer their college entry to end September, to allow them to make new arrangements. Students with proof from a college that they had been accepted onto a course to start by the end of September were granted a temporary Stamp 2 permission.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have also advised that they will consider the voluntary return of any students rendered destitute because they have lost money as a result of the closure. If a student decides to avail of the IOM option this will not impact negatively on any further stay in Ireland, whether to visit or to reside.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the issue of any investigation is a matter for An Garda Síochána and it would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.