Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Ceisteanna (177)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

180 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current timeframe for processing stamp 4 residency applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2734/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice and Equality)

The grant of a stamp 4 permission to a non-national is a very significant immigration permission and enables the recipient to access the labour market and a whole range of other state services. In general, the conditions attaching to a stamp 4 permission are that the person concerned has permission to work or operate a business without the need for an employment permit or other specific authorisation; however additional conditions may be imposed on the person should circumstances require. Thus, a stamp 4 permission may be applied to a variety of immigration categories directly or where the person's circumstances may have otherwise changed, for example, through marriage to an Irish national or by the accrual of valid permission to remain in the State on another permission stamp such as to qualify them to seek to change their status to a stamp 4 permission.

The time taken to process a particular application for stamp 4 depends on the category or circumstances applicable to the person concerned and it would not be possible without this information to give any meaningful estimation of the processing time involved. However, all cases are dealt with as expeditiously as possible and in the more clear-cut cases this is a matter of weeks at the outside. It should be borne in mind though that, in addition to the particular circumstances of a case, the length of time taken to process an application is also subject to the time taken to carry out all necessary checks and to provide all necessary supporting documentation: in this regard, the cooperation of the applicant is crucial to helping the process along and eliminating undue delays.

If the Deputy has a particular case in mind I would point out that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS 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 from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.