Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (112, 113)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

112. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number, date of publication and details of post-enactment reports published by his Department since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51371/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

113. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of Acts passed since March 2011 that his Department is responsible for; the date each Act was signed into law in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51387/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 113 together.

My Department has enacted ten pieces of legislation since March 2011. The details requested by the Deputy are contained in the table. Post-enactment reports for relevant legislation will be published in line with the requirements set out in the 2016 Dáil and Seanad standing orders, which provides for a report on the functioning of the Act within twelve months of its enactment.

Title of Acts passed since March 2011

Date the Act was signed into law

Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018

18 July 2018

Technological Universities Act 2018

19 March 2018

Teaching Council (Amendment) Act 2015

27 July 2015

Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015

05 May 2015

Further Education and Training Act 2013

10 July 2013

Education and Training Boards Act 2013

08 May 2013

Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012

25 July 2012

Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012

22 July 2012

Education (Amendment) Act 2012

23 May 2012

Residential Institutions Redress (Amendment) Act 2011

25 July 2011

Departmental Schemes

Ceisteanna (114)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

114. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the grant and funding schemes operated by his Department; the value of each scheme; and the basis or criteria used for the allocation of funding in respect of each scheme. [51403/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I have asked for the the information requested by the Deputy to be collated by my Department and I will respond directly when this exercise is complete.

Minor Works Scheme

Ceisteanna (115)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

115. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills if funding will be approved for categories seven to ten under the minor works scheme (details supplied); when this funding will be set aside; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51419/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The Summer Works Scheme (SWS) 2016 -2017 was applied on a multi-annual basis. The Deputy will be aware that nearly 50% of schools applied for inclusion under the scheme which reflects a very high demand.

Almost €80 million has been approved to date under the SWS, in respect of over 640 school projects in categories 1 - 6. Details of the successful school applicants are published on my Department's website www.education.ie.

As the Deputy will be aware, Project Ireland 2040 included an announcement of a major package of investment in education for the next decade with the school building budget increasing by 70%. This investment will provide for the continued increase in demographics while also allowing for a greater focus on refurbishment and upgrading of existing school stock. In that context my Department is processing the remaining categories of project under SWS 2016-2017. In that regard, I can confirm that my Department is in receipt of an application under the SWS for a Category 10 - external environment project from the school referenced.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 107.

Ceisteanna (116)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

116. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a SNA will be provided for a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51424/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on my Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

My Department’s policy is to ensure that every child who is assessed as needing SNA support will receive access to such support.

By the end of this year, there will be a total of 15,000 Special Needs Assistants working in our schools, a 42% increase on 2011.

As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply. I do not have a role in making determinations in individual cases.

Question No. 117 answered with Question No. 107.

Language Schools Closures

Ceisteanna (118)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

118. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the protections available to students and staff when an English language training school faces financial difficulty in view of media reports (details supplied) and in view of the significant budget that has been set aside to market Ireland as a destination for English language training; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51447/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department is aware of the difficulties facing the English language school referred to by the Deputy. The school in question is a member of MEI (Marketing English in Ireland), an association of English language schools. One of the obligations of MEI membership is that schools have protection for enrolled learner policies in place. I understand that MEI are putting in place the necessary arrangements to ensure that affected students will be able to complete the course for which they have enrolled, or a similar course, at another MEI member school.

The majority of English language schools in Ireland are privately run. The relationship between teachers and private providers of education is based on a private contract, and issues relating to working conditions including payment are a matter between the two parties and do not come under the remit of my Department.

There is an extensive range of legislation in Ireland which protects the employment rights of workers in relation to equality, employment contracts, payment of wages and related matters. It is the responsibility of the employer in the first instance to ensure that their employees receive their employment rights. Where an employee considers that their rights have been breached, the individual can bring a claim under the appropriate legislation to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). In addition, the WRC is responsible for monitoring a range of employment rights through its Inspection Service.

My Department is also taking steps to strengthen the regulation of the English language sector. The Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 is currently before the Seanad. This new Bill will establish the International Education Mark (IEM) and a Protection for Enrolled Learners (PEL) Fund.

The IEM is a core component of the Government's policy for the English language sector and will provide a full quality framework for the provision of education to international learners in the future. Only those providers who meet the robust quality assurance procedures of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) will be allowed to carry the Mark.

Once fully implemented, providers must gain authorisation from QQI to use the IEM in order to be eligible to recruit international students. The IEM is a tool to further enhance and sustain the quality of our education system. It also provides learners, or potential learners, with the necessary confidence that providers with the IEM have been quality assured by QQI.

The Bill also contains provisions to provide QQI with additional statutory powers to assess a provider’s corporate fitness and financial sustainability. The intention is to ensure that a provider is fully equipped in the round to provide a programme of education and training. This will apply to English language providers seeking to access the IEM.

Upon enactment, the Bill will also empower QQI to establish a fund for the protection of enrolled learners (PEL). This fund will be resourced by an annual charge from those providers covered by it. The fund will be used to ‘teach out’ a programme in the event that a provider fails to provide a programme. Should this not be possible, the fund will be used to reimburse students for the most recent fees that have been paid.

Schools Building Projects Status

Ceisteanna (119)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

119. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a school (details supplied) will be housed within an existing permanent educational facility to ensure that the students are not forced to receive education in prefabs; his plans to ensure that the proposed school which has already been delayed will be completed in 2019; his further plans to ensure that funding will be provided for educational resources in library facilities and recreational facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51484/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The school building project to which the Deputy refers is at Tender stage and tenders are currently being reviewed. When the tender analysis is complete the Letter of Acceptance appointing the contractor will then issue. The Letter of Acceptance is expected to issue and construction to commence in Quarter 1, 2019.

The school building project is to provide a new 16 no. classroom school including, as standard, General Purpose Hall, Library and Resource area combined, ancillary accommodation, ballcourts, project gardens and play areas on a site located on the permanent site. The intention is to phase construction to allow for occupation of the first phase of the building by the school for September 2019.

International Agreements

Ceisteanna (120, 121, 122)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

120. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans with regard to signing the UN migration pact; the reason for this decision; the potential impact this pact will have on Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51268/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

121. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to sign up to an international agreement (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51289/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niall Collins

Ceist:

122. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the UN global compact on migration; the position of the Government on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51320/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 120 to 122, inclusive, together.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will be adopted at the UN Intergovernmental Conference which I will be attending in Marrakech, Morocco, on 10th and 11th of December next.

The Compact, though non-binding and respectful of national sovereignty, provides a strong framework for global cooperation on migration in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ireland is supportive of the Global Compact, and efforts to ensure that migration, when it does occur, is safe, orderly and better managed. The Compact represents common ground for cooperation between countries and regions which have very different perspectives on, and experiences, of migration.

Ireland co-facilitated, with Jordan, the New York Declaration in 2016 that led to the Global Compacts on both Migration and Refugees; we have played our part in this multilateral effort to address an issue of common concern.

Finally, I expect the Global Compact to be adopted by the Conference after which the Document will be presented to the UN General Assembly for final and formal adoption, probably later in December or in January 2019.

Immigration Controls

Ceisteanna (123)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

123. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he is taking to address issues in relation to visas for Irish persons with a partner from a non-European Economic Area in cases in which the partner is not eligible to work due to visa requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51234/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to non-EEA nationals who have applied to come to Ireland or remain here by virtue of being a spouse or partner of an Irish national and not by any other basis.

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that immediate family members of Irish citizens who apply and are granted immigration status by INIS through the family reunification process have the right to work without employment permits and to establish or manage/operate a business in the State. They should receive a "stamp 4" immigration permission.

Further details of the relevant Domestic Residence Schemes can be found on the INIS website under the heading of ‘Family, spouses & partners’ at: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/immigration-permissions

If the Deputy has any other category of person in mind or has a specific case in mind I would be happy to respond with relevant details.

Commencement of Legislation

Ceisteanna (124)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

124. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when all sections of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 will be enacted; the timeframe for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51270/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (Commencement of Certain Provisions Order) 2016 (S.I. No. 12 of 2016) commenced the bulk of the Act with effect from 18 January 2016. That Commencement Order brought provisions of Parts 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 and 13 of the Act into operation. The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (Commencement) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 355 of 2017) commenced part of section 47(c) of the Act with effect from 31 July 2017 and the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 474 of 2017) commenced provisions of the Act relating to adoption by civil partners and cohabiting couples with effect from 2 November 2017.

Part 10 of the Act, which amended the Passports Act 2008, was commenced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1 July 2015.

Part 11 of the Act, which related to adoption, was not commenced and was repealed by section 2(2) of the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017, which came into operation on 19 October 2017, as provided for by the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017 (Commencement) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 443 of 2017). The provisions in Part 11 have been incorporated into the Adoption (Amendment) Act 2017, for which the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is responsible.

Section 177 of the Act has not yet been commenced. Following adoption of the 34th Amendment to the Constitution and its subsequent legislative changes, my Department identified a lacuna in the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 that prevents male same-sex married couples from availing of adoptive leave and benefits. To address this lacuna, my Department has prepared draft legislative proposals that will amend the Adoptive Leave Act that will afford the same entitlements to adoptive leave and benefits to all couples who are married, co-habiting or who are in a civil partnership, irrespective of gender. In this context, I can confirm that the Government intends to amend the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 to allow an adopting couple to determine which parent is entitled to take adoptive leave, based on the best interests of their family. These amendments were approved by Government on 6th November 2018 and will be included alongside legislative provisions to introduce a new paid parental leave scheme, which was announced as part of Budget 2019. While it is not possible to provide an exact time frame for the enactment of this legislation, I expect it will be progressed as quickly as is possible in 2019.

Parts 2 and 3 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provide for parentage through donor-assisted human reproduction (DAHR). The issue of the recognition of parentage for same-sex couples and their children is dealt with under Part 2 of the Act. The Minister for Health has responsibility for commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the Act.

Other provisions of the Act which relate to DAHR have not yet been commenced as they are linked to Parts 2 and 3. The commencement of the provisions of the Act which are related to Parts 2 and 3 will be co-ordinated with the commencement of those Parts by the Minister for Health.

Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provides for a number of amendments to the Civil Registration Act 2004, all of which have yet to be commenced.

Certain sections in Part 9 of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 provide for the registration and re-registration of the birth of a donor-conceived child. The current position is that these sections need to be amended, to correct technical errors, and have yet to be commenced. These sections fall within the responsibility of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. I am advised that the Minister’s intention is to correct these technical errors by means of Committee Stage amendments to the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017.

In addition, these sections cannot be commenced until Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act are brought into operation by the Minister for Health. The Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Act 2018 was enacted on 24 July 2018. This Act was introduced to correct typographical and technical errors in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015, which will facilitate the subsequent commencement of Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act. There are important administrative and operational arrangements to be put in place to facilitate the implementation of Parts 2 and 3, including the establishment of the National Donor-Conceived Person Register and the appointment of authorised persons under the Act. It is the Minister for Health's intention that Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Act will be commenced as soon as possible.

Officials from my Department, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Department of Health and the General Register Office are working together to ensure that the appropriate legislative, regulatory and operational mechanisms are in place to allow for the earliest possible commencement of all of the relevant legislation that will allow for birth registration of donor-conceived children.

The commencement of the other sections of Part 9 of the 2015 Act (unrelated to birth registration of donor-conceived children) is dependent on provisions of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 being commenced by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. These sections may be commenced separately and do not affect the bringing into force of the provisions on birth registration of donor-conceived children.

Prisoner Transfers

Ceisteanna (125)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

125. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 20 of 17 October 2018, the meaning of the reactivation of all existing applications for repatriation under the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Act 1995 in practical terms for UK prisoners depending on their sentence type in view of the fact that the applications are likely to lapse without the required legislative changes to the Act; his views on whether the reactivations may raise false expectations of prisoners and their families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51271/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts 1995 to 1997 give effect to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons 1983. The Deputy will also be aware that there have been a number of recent Court judgements which have implications for transferring prisoners from other States to Ireland. These judgements raised a number of complex issues about the legislation and its administration, indicating that legislative change is required. The practical effect and implications of the judgements resulted in applications for transfer from other States to Ireland being placed on hold pending the necessary legislative changes. My Department is at present finalising a draft scheme of a Bill to bring forward such changes. This draft scheme will be brought to Government as soon as possible.

However the Court of Appeal decision in the case of M.McK v The Minister for Justice and Equality [2016] IEHC 208, clarified that the Minister should ultimately consider each application on its own merits and give detailed reasoning for the decision reached. The judgment also concludes that the Minister cannot fail to implement legislation through prolonged inactivity of a statutory scheme such as the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts.

As such, what is meant by reactivation is that each application will be considered on its own merits. I cannot prejudge the outcome of any such application. All relevant applicants have been informed of this reactivation and will be further informed of any developments in their respective cases as they arise.

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Administration

Ceisteanna (126)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

126. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether the delays in processing applications from migrant workers to work here are justifiable (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51298/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the online booking system for registration appointments.

As outlined in responses to previous parliamentary questions, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department became aware in September of customers experiencing difficulties booking registration appointments. Some of these difficulties had arisen because third party agents had been able to secure multiple appointments through the use of automatic software. Software upgrades were put in place to minimise this abuse.

The period September to November is the busiest time for registrations with many student registrations in addition to the usual workload of the office. A number of measures have been taken to increase the capacity of the office, including the assignment of additional staff to the Registration Office, overtime and opening the office for registrations on most Saturdays and some Sundays. These measures are aimed at ensuring that as many appointments as possible are made available each day. INIS is continuing these measures at least into December to ensure demand is met.

I am also advised that INIS is currently developing a new online appointments system which should be operational late next year. This new system will assist in streamlining and improving the current online booking process. However, it is necessary for customers who are registering for the first time to attend the Registration Office as first time registration requires the capture of biometric information. INIS is examining options for renewals of some types of permissions for 2019 and is also developing a new computerised registration system which will enable further options to streamline the registration process to be developed. This is a large ICT project planned to be delivered in 2020. The overall aim of these measures is to improve customer service and efficiency and so that future demands can be met.

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Administration

Ceisteanna (127)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

127. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if delays and ongoing technical difficulties in receiving documentation and processing applications as experienced by migrant workers coming here could be eased by the use of online applications without the need for visits to GNIB offices especially in cases of workers already resident here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51299/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As outlined in responses to previous parliamentary questions, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department became aware in September of customers experiencing difficulties booking registration appointments. Some of these difficulties had arisen because third party agents had been able to secure multiple appointments through the use of automatic software.

A set of software fixes was introduced in mid-September to prevent this abuse of the system. As far as can be determined, this software update has been successful in preventing the block booking of appointments by third party agents. The system is being regularly monitored in this regard.

The period September to November is the busiest time for registrations with many student registrations in addition to the usual workload of the office. A number of measures have been taken to increase the capacity of the office, including the assignment of additional staff to the Registration Office, overtime and opening the office for registrations on most Saturdays and some Sundays. These measures are aimed at ensuring that as many appointments as possible are made available each day. INIS is continuing these measures at least until December to ensure demand is met.

I also wish to inform the Deputy that INIS is currently developing a new online appointments system which should be operational late next year. This new system will assist in streamlining and improving the current online booking process. However there will still be a necessity for customers who are registering for the first time to attend the Registration Office as first time registration requires the capture of biometric information.

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service Administration

Ceisteanna (128)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

128. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans for extra resources to be deployed in the INIS and GNIB in view of delays facing migrants who need to apply for visas or for renewal of residency permits, and in further view of the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU and the added pressure this may place on the system in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51300/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

In relation to the staffing of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department, significant additional funding has been allocated to support increased staffing resources in that area over recent years. Expenditure on staffing of INIS amounted to €31.4m in 2016, rising to €35.7m in 2017. Expenditure is estimated at €39.5m for this year, while Budget 2019 includes an allocation of €43.7m. This increased investment clearly demonstrates the commitment of Government to maintaining a safe, secure and efficient immigration system, and to tackling processing delays where they exist within the system. This includes allocation of resources for processing of both visas and registration of immigration permissions. The allocation of resources to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) is a matter for the Garda authorities.

INIS has also published a Service Improvement Plan for the 2018-2020 period which includes a commitment to a significant range of reforms which will improve the efficiency of the system while also improving the service provided to customers.

With regard to the UK exiting the EU, various contingency planning measures are underway in relation to immigration-related matters. The nature and extent of any possible future changes to policy or practice and their resource implications will obviously depend on the nature of any withdrawal agreement. However, I want to emphasise that there is firm commitment of both the Irish and UK Government, together with EU Member States and the EU Commission, that the existing arrangements in relation to the Common Travel Area will continue in the future, including the free movement of persons entitled to avail of it.

Private Security Authority

Ceisteanna (129)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

129. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the process for companies to continue to be issued licences from the Private Security Authority; the conditions under which licences will be refused; if taxation irregularities would be a grounds to refuse a licence in view of a recent incident (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51303/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Private Security Authority (PSA), established under the Private Security Services Act 2004 (as amended), is the statutory body with responsibility for the licensing and regulation of the security industry in the State. The Authority is an independent body under the aegis of my Department and I have no involvement in its day-to-day operations.

I am informed by the Authority that licences for companies/contractors are issued for a period of two years. They can be renewed on submission of an online renewal application and payment of the prescribed fee. The criteria for the grant, renewal or refusal of licenses is set out in the Act. Licenses may be refused or not renewed where companies/contractors:

(a) do not meet the PSA “fit and proper” guidelines to provide a security service, which are available on the PSA website

(b) do not comply with the requirements of the Act or regulations made under the Act

(c) do not may the required fee.

In addition, all sole traders, partners, company directors, shareholders and secretaries are vetted by An Garda Síochána and the results assessed against the “fit and proper” guidelines.

In order to submit a renewal application, companies/contractors must provide evidence that they hold a current tax clearance certificate. If the company/contractor does not hold a current tax clearance certificate, their application will be refused in accordance with the Private Security Services Act, 2004 as amended, as the applicant’s tax affairs are not in compliance with the provisions of the Finance Act 2002, which govern the issue of tax clearance by the Revenue Commissioners. If there is any evidence of non-compliance with taxation these matters should be brought to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners. I am further informed that as part of the Authority’s ongoing monitoring of licenses, the tax clearance status of contractors is checked during the term of the two year licences. Where a contractor is found not to be tax complaint, the Authority may suspend or revoke a license.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (130)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

130. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a decision is likely in respect of an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51326/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is ongoing. On completion of the necessary processing the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements, not only within the State but also at European Union level, and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (131)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

131. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which an application for residency, naturalisation or an update of stamp 4 has been progressed in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51327/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy, who currently has permission to reside in the State until 22 January 2019, continues to be processed and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While most straightforward cases are now processed within six months, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (132)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

132. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure to be followed to regularise residency and entitlement to seek employment in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51328/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of an application from the persons concerned. It is, however, open to them to contact INIS, in writing, and set out their particular circumstances to the Family Dependent Unit, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. Any such request will be given detailed consideration by INIS upon receipt of the relevant information and documentary evidence from the individuas concerned.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by email 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.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (133)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

133. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when stamp 4 will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51329/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of a request from the person concerned for permission to reside in the State.

I am further advised that it would appear that the person concerned is resident in the State as the holder of an employment permit from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI). If the person holds a Critical Skills Employment Permit it is open to them to consult with DBEI to determine whether they meet that Department's criteria for a change to Stamp 4. In circumstances where the person concerned obtains the relevant 'Support Letter' from DBEI, they may attend their local Immigration Office with a view to completing the relevant immigration process for registration of permission to reside in this State on Stamp 4 conditions.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (134)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

134. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when regularisation of residency will be arranged in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51330/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned is the subject of a valid Deportation Order made on 26 October 2016. The Deputy might wish to note that persons subject of a Deportation Order are obliged to remove themselves from the State and to remain out of the State.

Representations were received from the person concerned, pursuant to the provisions of section 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), requesting that the Deportation Order be revoked. Following the detailed consideration of the information submitted in support of the request, the Deportation Order was affirmed on 1 September 2017.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (135)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

135. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if all documentation requested has been received in order to expedite an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51331/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the processing of the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is on-going.

A letter issued to the person concerned on 4 December 2018 requesting certain documentation and a reply is awaited. Upon receipt of the requested documentation the case will be further processed.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements, not only within the State but also at European Union level, and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While most straightforward cases are now processed within six months, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (136)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

136. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding an update of stamp 4 in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51332/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned applied on 8 June 2017 for a residence card as a family member of an EEA national under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2015 and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

On 26 February 2018, a letter issued to the individual in question advising of a number of concerns with the application and that consideration was being given to refusing the application based on those concerns.

The individual in question was invited to submit documentation and information in response to these concerns which would be considered along with all available information. A temporary Stamp 4 permission valid to 16 February 2019 was provided to the individual in question whilst the information contained in the application is verified and considered.

The application is still under consideration and I understand that a decision is imminent.

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.