Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

John Cregan

Ceist:

325 Mr. Cregan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the available statistics on asylum applications, not being processed, granted, granted on appeal and persons deported; the comparisons with figures over the past few years; and if a problem of backlog and the delay in processing has now largely been dispensed with. [19288/03]

The information sought by the Deputy is outlined in the following table:

2001

2002

2003(31/05)

Asylum Applications

10,325

11,634

4,089

Granted Applications(at first instance)

458

893

156

Unprocessable Applications*

372

586

190

Granted on Appeal**

480

1,100

390

Deportation orders effected***

365

521

222

* Most of the unprocessable cases concern applicants who have made an initial application but who have never provided an address and therefore cannot be contacted.
** Substantive cases.
*** Refused asylum seekers comprise only one of nine categories of persons the Minister can deport under the Immigration Act 1999. Separate statistics are not maintained for the different categories, but most of the figures concern refused-failed asylum seekers.
Significant progress continues to be made in the processing of asylum applications and the increase in processing capacity which has been put in place as part of the Government's asylum strategy is making a real impact on the backlog of cases on hands. This is evidenced by the fact that the number of backlog cases, i.e. cases which are over six months old, on hands in the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal is now down to approximately 1,800 most of which are at an advanced stage of processing. This compares with 6,500 at the end of September 2001. Interviews scheduled by the ORAC for July 2003 include applications made in March and April 2003.