Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service

Questions (735)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

735. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Justice if she will request the Irish National Immigration Service to respond to this Deputy in relation to various correspondence sent to it regarding the case of persons (details supplied) for the return of their documents. [38442/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The immigration registrations of the persons referred to by the Deputy have been completed. Any documentation submitted as part of this process was returned to them on 4 November 2020, by the Immigration Service of my Department.

Significant demand accumulated during the four months that the Registration Office was closed earlier this year due to COVID-19. To assist in addressing this demand, a new online system for the renewal of registrations in the Dublin area was developed and launched on 20 July 2020, enabling applicants to safely engage with the Registration Office without the need to attend in person at Burgh Quay.

Since the launch of the new online renewal system, my Department has received over 43,000 applications, and my officials have already completed approximately 38,000 of these cases.

My Department recognises the difficulties that delays may cause for applicants and it is providing additional resources to the Registration Office to increase its capacity to handle current demand. Where an applicant urgently needs their passport for travel or other such reasons, they should email the Registration Office at burghquayregoffice@justice.ie and set out the circumstances involved.

Residency Permits

Questions (736)

Jennifer Murnane O'Connor

Question:

736. Deputy Jennifer Murnane O'Connor asked the Minister for Justice if it is possible for a residence permit to be issued in the case of a long-term de facto partner; if her attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38462/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Immigration Service of my Department has not yet received a new application for Long Term Residency permission (Stamp 4) from the person referred to by the Deputy. This person, however, has Stamp 4 permission to reside in the State until 25 February 2021. Further permission to remain beyond this date may be renewed by her local immigration office without recourse to the Immigration Service of my Department.

Registrations outside of the Dublin area are processed by the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) through the Garda Station network. Further information, and the contact details of each registration office outside Dublin, is available from https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-communications/news-media/reopening-of-registration-offices.html.

It is open to the person concerned to submit an application for Long Term Residency to Residence Division - Unit 3, Immigration Service Delivery, Department of Justice, PO Box 12079, Ireland for examination.

In order to make an application for Long Term Residency in the State, the person must have been legally resident in the State for a minimum of 5 years (i.e. 60 months) on work permit/work authorisation/working visa conditions. Details of the application process are available on the Immigration Service website at http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Long_Term_Residency

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Family Reunification

Questions (737)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

737. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the progress to date in the determination of an application for family reunification for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38507/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The person concerned submitted an application for Family Reunification on behalf of their family member, which was received by the Immigration Service of my Department on 8 November 2019.

They were notified by letter dated 7 January 2020, that their family member did not come within the definition of member of the family under Section 56(9) of the International Protection Act 2015 and that the application could therefore not be accepted.

Section 56(9) of the International Protection Act 2015 defines a member of the family for the purpose of Family Reunification as:

- A spouse or civil partner where the marriage or civil partnership was subsisting at the time of the application for International Protection;

- A child of the sponsor who is under the age of 18 and unmarried at the date of the application for family reunification; and

- Where the sponsor is under 18 and unmarried at the date of the application for family reunification, their parent(s) and their unmarried minor children.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Questions (738)

Holly Cairns

Question:

738. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice if her attention has been drawn to persons being updated on their application for a stamp 4 by a post-it affixed to their passport; if this is standard practice; the action being taken as a result; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38522/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

There are many areas within the Immigration Service of my Department that require an applicant's passport in order to confirm their identity and residence in the State prior to granting or renewing an immigration permission.

Based on the details provided by the Deputy it has not been possible to identify what has occurred in this instance. However, if the Deputy can provide more information, my officials will be happy to examine and clarify the issue of concern.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

International Protection

Questions (739)

Holly Cairns

Question:

739. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice the rationale for the practice of international protection seekers denied leave to remain being summoned monthly to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, INIS, or the Garda National Immigration Bureau, GNIB, at Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 during level 5 restrictions to report for possible deportation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38523/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

For those found not to be in need of international protection, a detailed consideration of all aspects of their case will have been carried out before a decision is made to grant permission to remain in the State or to make a Deportation Order. This includes a full consideration of their private and family rights in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights as well as consideration of their work situation, among other issues. The person will also have been given the option of availing of assisted voluntary return to their home country.

If a Deportation Order is subsequently made, the enforcement of that Order becomes an operational matter for the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). For the purpose of enforcing the Order, the person is required to present at the offices of the GNIB, either at the Burgh Quay office in Dublin, or at their local Immigration Office. They may be directed to attend at specified times on specific dates until such time as the deportation process has been completed.

The presentation arrangements can vary from case to case and may be influenced by factors like the making of necessary travel arrangements and obtaining the relevant travel documents to facilitate their return. I am advised that the GNIB is taking a pragmatic approach in relation to the enforcement of Deportation Orders during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 3 (11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) also allows an Order to be amended or revoked by making a request to me as Minister for Justice.

Immigration Data

Questions (740)

Pa Daly

Question:

740. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Justice the nationality of those refused permission to remain in 2020, in tabular form. [38568/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The table below sets out the refusals of permission to remain by nationality under Section 49 of the International Protection Act 2015, from January to September of this year.

Refusals of Permission to Remain Jan to Sept 2020*

Nationality as provided by the applicant at time of application.

Albania

209

Georgia

199

Pakistan

185

Zimbabwe

116

South Africa

96

Nigeria

69

Algeria

49

Brazil

35

Bangladesh

31

Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The

23

Malawi

22

India

20

Ghana

10

Sierra Leone

9

China (Including Hong Kong)

8

Morocco

8

Others

84

Total

1173

Refusals of Permission to Remain Jan to Sept 2020*

Nationality as provided by the applicant at time of application.

Albania

209

Georgia

199

Pakistan

185

Zimbabwe

116

South Africa

96

Nigeria

69

Algeria

49

Brazil

35

Bangladesh

31

Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The

23

Malawi

22

India

20

Ghana

10

Sierra Leone

9

China (Including Hong Kong)

8

Morocco

8

Others

84

Total

1173

The table below sets out the refusals of reviews of permission to remain by nationality under Section 49 of the International Protection Act 2015, from January to September of this year.

Permission to Remain review refusals 2020 to end September*

Nationality

Georgia

46

Pakistan

42

Albania

27

Zimbabwe

18

Nigeria

14

Bangladesh

12

India

11

South Africa

11

Algeria

7

Others

27

Total

215

* These figures relate to the year in which the decision was made and not to the year in which the application was made. These statistics are correct as of 23 November 2020. However, they may be subject to data cleansing.

Where the numbers of applications from individual countries are low, no further breakdown by nationality is provided for confidentiality reasons, in line with Section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015.

Those refused permission to remain following a review were already refused Permission to Remain at first instance.

Anti-Social Behaviour

Questions (741)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

741. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice if consideration has been given to banning the use of the so-called mosquito alarms that emit high pitched sounds to discourage persons gathering in a vicinity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38581/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can advise the Deputy that Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 sets out the offence of assault and refers to the application of "force". Noise is expressly included as being one of the types of "force" to which section 2 of the Act applies.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that an instruction has issued to all members of An Garda Síochána which directs that any complaints received regarding the use of such devices will be fully investigated with a view to seeking the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I would note that if any person has concerns about the use of such devices in a particular locality, the matter should be reported to the Gardaí.

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service

Questions (742)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Question:

742. Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill asked the Minister for Justice if it is possible for the processing of a passport with a stamp 1 for a person (details supplied) to be prioritised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, INIS; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38653/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The processing of the passport of the person referred to by the Deputy has been completed and was returned by registered post on 23 November 2020, by the Immigration Service of my Department.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the parliamentary questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Taxi Licences

Questions (743)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

743. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice the status of a taxi driver licence application by a person (details supplied). [38658/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, applications for a Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) licence are processed by both the National Transport Authority (NTA) and An Garda Síochána.

The NTA is responsible for:

- Administering the SPSV Driver Entry Test;

- Processing SPSV driver licence fees;

- Issuing the SPSV driver identity and display cards on receipt of the SPSV Driver Licence from An Garda Síochána; and

- Maintaining the SPSV driver and vehicle licence register, together with the Driver Check App.

An Garda Síochána is responsible for:

- Vetting applicants to assess their suitability;

- Administering applications received; and

- Where appropriate, granting and renewing SPSV driver licences.

With regard to the role of An Garda Síochána in SPSV licence applications, the vetting of applicants, and the administering and granting/renewing of licences are operational matters for the Garda authorities. As Minister, I have no role in such matters nor can I intervene in individual cases. If an individual applicant wishes to seek information about the status of their application with regard to vetting or any other aspect that falls under the remit of An Garda Síochána, they should contact the Carriage Office by email: CarriageOffice.DMR@Garda.ie

With regard to those aspects of the SPSV application process that are the responsibility of the NTA, which falls under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Transport, an applicant should contact the NTA directly with any queries about these aspects of their application.