I am advised by the Immigration Service of my Department that the Special Scheme for Students was launched on 15 October 2018 and closed to new applications on 20 January 2019. Approximately 3,100 applications were received comprising former students and their family members. To date, the Immigration Service has made a decision in approximately 2,364 cases. Decisions have also been made in a further approximately 100 applications for a review of an original decision to refuse permission under the scheme.
The Deputy will appreciate that it is necessary to process these applications in full compliance with legal requirements and in accordance with the criteria of the Scheme. I am assured by the Immigration Service that it continues to optimise all available resources, including the provision of overtime, to deliver decisions to all applicants under the scheme as soon as possible.