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Visa Applications

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 21 September 2021

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Questions (504, 505)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

504. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice if the subscribed visas that were submitted before May 2021 in Afghanistan included applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45171/21]

View answer

Thomas Pringle

Question:

505. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice the number of visas her Department has granted to Afghans since 1 May 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45172/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 504 and 505 together.

In response to the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, my Department is currently focused on processing immigration applications for Afghan family members of Irish citizens and Afghan nationals living in Ireland.

I can inform the Deputy, that between 1 January 2021 and 30 April 2021, 64 applications for visas were made by Afghan citizens. During the same period, my Department granted a total of 47 visas to Afghan nationals.

From 1 May to 15 September 2021, my Department granted 170 visas to Afghan nationals, including 19 that were granted on appeal.

Visa applications for Afghan family members of Irish citizens and Afghan nationals living in Ireland are being assessed speedily and sympathetically. There are currently 196 EU Treaty Rights applications on hand in respect of Afghan nationals and 150 join family visa applications being processed from the Abu Dhabi Embassy.

In addition to visa applications, my Department is currently processing family reunification applications for 65 Afghan family members. These are being prioritised, with full consideration given to the current humanitarian context. To date this year, family reunification permission has been granted to 106 Afghan family members under the terms of the International Protection Act 2015.

The Government announced that a number of places would be allocated to Afghan nationals as ‘programme refugees’ under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). The Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth (DCEIDY) has overall responsibility for the IRPP, with practical support provided by my Department by way of issuing visas to facilitate travel to Ireland. Priority has been given to those working on human rights issues, including the rights of women and girls and minorities, as well as those working with NGOs and European and international organisations. As of 19 September 2021, my Department has issued 368 visas or visa letters in lieu to this cohort on a humanitarian basis.

Question No. 505 answered with Question No. 504.
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