Ireland does not operate a pre-entry application system for non-nationals. Statistics are not readily available on the number of non-nationals arriving from outside the common travel area who were granted leave to land in the past 12 months. The number of persons refused leave to land in 1999, including those persons refused leave to land having arrived from within the common travel area, was 3,456.
The grounds upon which asylum applicants base their claim for asylum are varied and cover the full spectrum of the grounds stipulated in the Geneva Convention, namely, race; religion; membership of a particular social group; political opinion.
The Deputy may wish to note that economic refugee is not a status conferred under international refugee law. Statistics are not maintained in a manner which would enable information to be compiled without involving a disproportionate amount of staff time in relation to the number of applicants who applied for refugee status for reasons of political opinion.
The number of applications for refugee status during 1999 increased dramatically from 234 in January to 453 in June, 571 in July to 1,051 in October, 1,010 in November and 1,217 in December. Of the 7,724 applications received up to and including 31 December 1999 the numbers of those applications processed were as follows: