Written Answers. - Visa Applications.

Trevor Sargent

Ceist:

58 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will consider temporary six to 12 month visas for human rights defenders at risk for their work in upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for respite or study purposes. [17240/03]

As Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, I have the authority to grant visas for a wide variety of reasons, subject of course to the need to maintain the integrity of the immigration system.

If the persons to whom the Deputy refers are visa required nationals they can, of course, make applications for a visa. In this regard, visa applications must normally be made through the Irish Embassy or Consulate in the applicant's country of permanent residency. If there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in the applicant's country of permanent residency the application may be made through any Irish Embassy or Consulate or direct by post to the Visa Office, Department of Foreign Affairs, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.
The visa information leaflet, which issues with visa application forms, advises applicants of the supporting documentation required in connection with an application. In general terms, applications should be supported by documentation confirming the nature and duration of the proposed visit, such as a letter from the sponsoring organisation, and evidence that the applicant has sufficient funds to fully maintain himself or herself without recourse to work or public funds for the duration of the stay. Each visa application will be considered on its own merits.