Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (76)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

76. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review and increase the amount permitted by SUSI for a student applicant's earning from holiday employment (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17078/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The assessment of means under the Student Grant Scheme is based on gross income from all sources, with certain social welfare and health service executive payments being exempt.

In the assessment of means, a deduction can be made for “Holiday Earnings” earned by the applicant from employment outside of term time but within the reference period for the assessment of income for student grant purposes.

The value of the Holiday Earnings income disregard was increased from €3,809 to €4,500 under the Student Grant Scheme 2016.

Any proposal to further increase this threshold must be considered in the context of not adversely impacting upon retention rates/the student’s ability to primarily focus on successfully completing his/her studies. 

It is anticipated that the Student Grant Scheme 2019 and associated Regulations will be published shortly.

School Patronage

Ceisteanna (77)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

77. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to open up consideration of divestment of a national school to provide a multidenominational option for persons in north County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17101/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Programme for Government includes a commitment of reaching 400 multi-/non-denominational schools in Ireland by the year 2030. The Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity Process is aimed at assisting in achieving this target by transferring existing schools from denominational to multi-/non-denominational patronage in line with the wishes of the school community.

The process is composed of two separate and distinct phases - the Identification Phase and the subsequent Implementation Phase. The first Identification Phase of the phase 1 pilot process is nearing completion for 16 initial areas nationwide.

Identification Phase

In the Identification Phase, each of the country’s 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) have selected an initial pilot area within their district where they consider, based on census data and local knowledge, there is likely to be an oncoming demand for more diversity of patronage within the local educational provision. In the case of Tipperary ETB, the area selected is Roscrea. Surveys of parents of pre-school children have been carried out in these areas by the relevant City/County Childcare Committee on behalf of the ETBs. ETBs, having analysed the survey results, then draw up comprehensive reports detailing the outcomes of the surveys in relation to each of the 16 pilot areas. This forms the basis of discussions with the most prevalent patron/landowner in the area, which is the Catholic Bishop or Archbishop in most cases, concerning the transfer of patronage of an existing school(s) to meet that demand.

The response of the Bishop to any identified oncoming demand for greater diversity of school patronage in the area is included in the report prepared by the ETB, for submission to my Department. 

As it currently stands, most of the Identification Phase reports from these 16 initial areas have been finalised and it is envisaged that the reports will be published on my Department's website www.education.ie in the first half of this year.

Implementation Phase

Following the publication of the first round of reports, it is intended that the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process will move into the Implementation Phase.

It is intended that the Implementation Phase would involve the existing patron of the majority of schools in each area, i.e. the relevant Catholic Archbishop or Bishop, consulting with their local school communities on accommodating the oncoming demand for a greater diversity of patronage among the schools in their area.

Draft protocols for the Implementation Phase are at an advanced stage of development and consultation with Catholic Church representatives is ongoing.

I recently had a very constructive meeting with Irish Episcopal Conference representatives in relation to a number of matters including Reconfiguration. The Bishops reiterated their commitment to the Reconfiguration process. Further engagement is planned in this regard and I look forward to working positively with the Bishops on this matter in a spirit of continued partnership.

Early Movers

Separately to the main Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity Process, there is also a possibility for  school communities to directly engage with their patron regarding transfer of patronage to a multi-denominational patron.  For example, the ‘early movers’ provision fast-tracks patronage reassignment.  The first 'early mover' reconfiguration has successfully taken place, with Two-Mile Community National School in Kerry opening in September 2017.  Any school which is seeking a transfer of patronage under the 'early movers' provision should contact their school patron directly.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (78)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

78. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the State contracts awarded to a company (details supplied) over the past seven years; and the contracts delivered according to the original contract. [17112/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the table.

County

Roll Number

School

Contract Start Date

Current position

Cavan

70380I

Breifne College, Cootehill Road, Cavan Town

25/04/2016

Completed

Galway City

19795A

Tirellan Heights N S

05/06/2012

Completed

Kildare

15040T

Mercy Convent Primary School, Naas

08/05/2017

On-going

Longford

20124G

Edgeworthstown N.S..

28/05/2013

Completed

Louth

20258E

Gaelscoil an Bhriadán Feasa, Mill Road, Mornington

15/02/2016

Completed

Mayo

91461C

Ballyhaunis CS, Ballyhaunis

18/12/2015

Completed

Meath

19813W

St Dympna's N.S., Kildalkey

12/06/2017

Completed

Westmeath

17327D

Curraghmore NS, Mullingar

18/09/2017

On-going  

Student Grant Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (79)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

79. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a person (details supplied) can apply for reapproval of a higher education grant if and when they resume their studies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17159/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I wish to advise the Deputy that my officials contacted SUSI regarding this case. SUSI has advised that it has no record of the student in question making an application for a student grant.

Under the terms of the Student Grant Scheme, grant assistance is awarded to students attending an approved course in an approved institution who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means.

The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter, in the first instance, for SUSI to determine.

Under Article 26(7) of the Student Grant Scheme 2018, a student who, having commenced an approved course, wishes to defer his or her grant during the course of his or her studies must obtain the prior approval of the awarding authority. Such student's eligibility will be reassessed on re-commencement of the course in order to ensure compliance with the relevant scheme.

It is open to any applicant to apply for grant assistance in the future, subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant Student Grant Scheme.

School Placement

Ceisteanna (80)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

80. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a school place will be available for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17167/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for planning, coordinating and advising on education provision for children with special educational needs.

The Council ensures that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all children who have been identified as needing special class placements.

The NCSE’s team of locally based Special Education Needs Organisers (SENOs) are available to assist and advise parents whose children have special needs and identify available placements. They also support and advise schools in this area.

Parents who are experiencing difficulties in locating a school placement, should contact their local SENO.

As the Deputy's question relates to placement for a particular child, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply.

Garda Deployment

Ceisteanna (81)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

81. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the position of Garda sergeant in Strokestown Garda station, County Roscommon has changed from a permanent to a roving position; if so, when the change occurred; the reason for the decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16987/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.

I am informed by the Commissioner that in regard to the deployment of Garda personnel, a distribution model is used which takes into account all relevant factors including population, crime trends and the policing needs of each individual Garda Division. Where a deficiency in resources is identified the matter is considered fully and addressed accordingly. In addition, as you will appreciate, in order to deliver an effective policing service, it is essential that Garda management has the flexibility to deploy Garda resources to meet operational policing needs and address critical issues as they arise. For this reason, the number of Gardaí available in any one Garda Station on a particular day is subject to the operational requirements of the overall Division.   

In this regard, the Deputy will be aware that Strokestown Garda Station forms part of the Castlerea District. The Garda strength of the Castlerea District on 31 March 2019, the most recent date for which figures are available, was 90, including 18 Sergeants and 1 Inspector, of whom 4 Gardaí and 1 Sergeant are assigned to the Strokestown Garda station.  

When appropriate, the work of local Gardaí is supported by a number of Garda national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Armed Support Units, the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

Since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014, almost 2,600 recruits have attested as members and have been assigned to mainstream duties nationwide, 18 of whom have been assigned to the Roscommon/Longford Division. 

The Government has increased the budget by for An Garda Síochána to €1.76 billion for 2019, which includes provision for the recruitment of up to 800 Gardaí this year. The Commissioner has informed me that he plans to recruit a total of 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and he also intends to recruit 600 Garda Civilian Staff.  This Garda Staff recruitment will allow the Commissioner to redeploy a further 500 fully trained Gardaí from administrative duties to frontline policing in 2019. 

I believe that the injection of this large number of experienced officers into the field, along with the new recruits, will be really beneficial in terms of protecting communities. This and on-going recruitment will clearly provide the Commissioner with the resources needed to deploy increasing numbers of Gardaí to deliver a visible effective and responsive policing service to communities across all Garda Divisions including the Roscommon/Longford Division.

Mobile Telephony Use

Ceisteanna (82)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

82. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will consider introducing or supporting legislation to ensure that proof of identity is required for the purchase of mobile phones (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17091/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, proposals to register all customers of mobile phone services were considered in the mid-2000s by what is now the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment which concluded that such a proposal would be unlikely to solve the illegal and inappropriate use of mobile phones by persons determined to use the technology for illegal activity.

They also concluded that there is a risk that such measures could lead to the emergence of a black market for fraudulently registered or stolen SIM cards. Furthermore, there would be significant data protection issues associated with such a proposal. In light of these findings, I understand that there are no plans under consideration at present to make it mandatory for persons to need to register for mobile phone services.

With respect to the harm caused by drug related crime more generally, this is something that is of great concern to me and every effort is being made to tackle this issue. An Garda Síochána play a key role in ensuring that individuals who threaten the welfare and well-being of the communities they serve are brought to justice.  All Gardaí have a responsibility in the detection and prevention of crime, whether it be drug related crime or otherwise.  Tackling drugs and organised crime remains a core focus of An Garda Síochána.   

The Government is committed to ensuring that An Garda Síochána have sufficient resources to carry out their important work and, as such, funding in this area has been very significant in recent years, in particular through the accelerated programme of Garda recruitment. This will enable An Garda Síochána to enhance policing services in communities nationwide. Investment in this area has resulted in additional personnel being assigned to the Specialist Bureaus that come within the ambit of Special Crime Operations, including the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

I would like to assure the Deputy that my Department and the Government is fully committed to supporting An Garda Síochána in their efforts to tackle all forms of criminal activity, with a particular focus on the safety of our citizens.

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (83)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

83. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the State contracts awarded to a company (details supplied) over the past seven years; and the contracts delivered according to the original contract. [17118/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

 My Department has not awarded any State contracts to the company detailed in the period in question.

 I have asked that the agencies which fall under the remit of this Department respond to you directly on the question raised.  

Student Visas Applications

Ceisteanna (84)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

84. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person (details supplied) can renew their student visa enabling them to study and work part-time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17149/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the details supplied by the Deputy are insufficient for the purposes of establishing the immigration status of the person concerned.

I am further informed that it is open to the person concerned to write to Unit 1, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, INIS, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 setting out the nature of their request including a full colour photocopy of their national passport and any other documentation they consider relevant to their circumstances. 

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (85)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

85. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person (details supplied) can obtain residency permission to remain and-or stamp 4 or equivalent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17150/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a request from the person concerned for permission to reside in the State on Stamp 4 conditions was received on 30 January, 2019.

INIS wrote to the person concerned on 30 January and 8 April, 2019 seeking further documents. It remains open to the person concerned to provide the information to Unit 2, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2. The request will be given detailed consideration upon receipt of a response.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (86)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

86. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if stamp 4 will be considered in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17151/19]

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 applied on 20/09/2016 for a residence card as a family member of an EU citizen 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. They stated at that time that they were the spouse of a citizen of Croatia. 

This application was refused on 22/05/2017 as INIS was not satisfied that the EU citizen in this case, was exercising their EU Treaty Rights in the State through employment, self-employment, the pursuit of a course of study, involuntary unemployment, or the possession of sufficient resources in accordance with Regulation 6(3) of the 2015 Regulations.

The person concerned requested a review of that decision on 26/05/2017, which is currently under consideration. INIS confirm that they have received documentation from the person concerned in respect of their review and that they will correspond with the applicant should further information or documentation be required. The person concerned has been provided with a temporary permission to remain in the State on  a Stamp 4 basis until 05/09/2019.

Applications are dealt with in strict chronological order, and a decision will issue to the person concerned in due course. Although it is not possible at the present time to provide a definitive date by which a determination will be made in this case, there will be no avoidable delay in completing same.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (87)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

87. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if stamp 4 or permission to remain will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17152/19]

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 for the person concerned to reside in this State on Stamp 4 conditions.  However, the person concerned was granted permission to reside in the State on Stamp 1 conditions, as the holder of a general employment permit, until 19 December, 2019.

I am further informed that it is open to the person concerned to apply for permission for specified Non-EEA family members to reside with him in the State subject to compliance with the relevant criteria as set out in the INIS Policy Document on Non-EEA Family reunification.

  It should be noted that holders of a general employment permit may apply for family reunification after they have resided in the State for a period of 12 months.  Further information on the relevant criteria can be found on the INIS website (http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Family%20Reunification%20Policy%20Document.pdf/Files/Family%20Reunification%20Policy%20Document.pdf).

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (88)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

88. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current and potential residency status in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17153/19]

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 information provided by the Deputy is not sufficient to establish the correct identity of the individual concerned in order to provide a response on the matter.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (89)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

89. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when stamp 4 will be updated in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17154/19]

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 applied on 12/10/2010 for a residence card as a family member of an EU citizen under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.  They stated at that time that they were the spouse of a citizen of Portugal who was exercising EU Treaty Rights in the State.  This application was refused on 19/04/2011.

On 10/05/2011 the person concerned sought a review of the decision to refuse their application.  They were informed on 16/08/2011 that their review had been successful.  The applicant was provided at that time with permission to remain in the State on a Stamp 4EUFam basis for a period of five years - from 16/08/2011 to 16/08/2016.

The person concerned applied on 06/09/2016 to retain their permission to reside in the State.  However, they were advised on 15/07/2017 that their application had been refused.  They were informed at that time that the right of a third country national family member to accompany or join an EU citizen in a host Member State, is a derived right dependent on the EU citizen residing in the State in exercise of their EU Treaty Rights in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations and the Directive.

INIS was satisfied, based on the information available, that the EU citizen had departed the State in 2013 and, as such, the EU citizen had ceased to exercise EU Treaty Rights in the State in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations and Directive at that time.  As the Union citizen had not been exercising EU Treaty Rights in the State in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 6(3)(a) of the Regulations since 2013, the applicant’s derived right of residence under Regulation 6(3)(b) of the Regulations ceased from that time also.

The person concerned requested a review of that decision on 13/11/2017, which is currently under active consideration. INIS will correspond with the person concerned should further documentation, information, or clarification be required.  I am informed by INIS that a decision will issue to the person concerned in the coming weeks.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (90)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

90. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person (details supplied) can have their child join them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17155/19]

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 insufficient information supplied by the Deputy in order to establish the immigration status of the person in question.

I am further informed that it is open to the person concerned to write to  Domestic Residence and Permissions Division Unit 5, INIS, PO Box 12695, Dublin 2, setting out their current circumstances. Alternatively the person may email INISdefacto@justice.ie for further information on how to proceed.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (91)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

91. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the assessment of the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17156/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned has submitted written representations.

The position in the State of the person concerned will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation.  All representations submitted will be fully considered in advance of a final decision being made.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (92)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

92. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of the case pursuant to section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) in the case of persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17161/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, in response to a notification pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the persons concerned have submitted written representations.

The position in the State of the person concerned will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and all other applicable legislation.  All representations submitted will be fully considered in advance of a final decision being made.

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 (93)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

93. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if provision will be made to facilitate a person (details supplied); if alternative provision will be made to facilitate their application for naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17162/19]

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 an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy, who currently has permission to reside in the State until 29 May 2019.

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. 

All persons making an application for a certificate of naturalisation are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their identity and nationality. This is usually in the form of a currently valid passport and may include other original supporting documents, such as a previously held or out of date passport, birth certificate and marriage certificate. 

In rare circumstances where an applicant cannot produce their current passport, or a previous passport, birth certificate or other supporting documents the applicant will be required to provide a full explanation. Such explanation should, where possible, be supported by satisfactory evidence that they have attempted to obtain such documentation and correspondence from the relevant authorities or embassy responsible for the issuing of passports and birth certificates in their country, clearly stating the reasons the documentation cannot be provided. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will consider the explanation given and, if satisfied it is for reasons genuinely beyond the applicant's control, may suggest alternative means to the person to assist in establishing their identity and nationality.

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.

Immigration Status

Ceisteanna (94)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

94. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person (details supplied) will qualify for a stamp 4 update; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17164/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications and the applicant or his legal representative should contact either the International Protection Office (IPO) or the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly, as appropriate.

The IPO may be contacted either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The International Protection Appeals Tribunal may be contacted either by email to info@protectionappeals.ie, by telephone at 01-4748400 (or Lo-Call 1890 201 458), or in writing to Corporate Services Division, The International Protection Appeals Tribunal, 6-7 Hanover Street East, Dublin D02 W320.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015 which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

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 Eligibility

Ceisteanna (95)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

95. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17165/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, as indicated in my response to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question No. 112 of 21 February 2019, 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. Should further documentation be required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

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.