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Visa Applications

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 7 March 2017

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Ceisteanna (142)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

142. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she will address the serious concerns of a person (details supplied) in relation to their ongoing INIS application issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12175/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the visa application referred to was received in the Dublin Visa Office on 25 May, 2016.

More generally, the Visa Office is currently experiencing delays in processing such applications due to the large volumes of applications of this type received particularly since the second quarter of 2015. Legal proceedings in relation to a number of similar such applications are currently before the courts, and accordingly, the Deputy will appreciate that I am somewhat limited in what I can say on the matter. However, I can say that there has been an exponential increase in the number of such applications and with it increasing concerns around potential abuse of the Directive in relation to such cases. This has given rise to a current caseload in the region of 10,500 applications overall which have to be assessed very carefully to ensure that any fraudulent applications or potential abuses of the Directive are detected and dealt with appropriately.

While every effort generally is made to process these applications as soon as possible, processing times will vary having regard to the volume of applications, their complexity, the possible need for the Visa Office to investigate, enquire into, or seek further information in relation to certain applications, and the resources available. Unfortunately, due to the large number of applications waiting to be processed and the fact that such applications are processed in chronological order (i.e. based on date order of receipt), I cannot at this time give a definitive date as to when this application will be finalised.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the 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 the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to the INIS Visa Office (visamail@justice.ie).

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