Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Ceisteanna (416)

Michael Collins

Ceist:

416. Deputy Michael Collins asked the Minister for Justice the status of a visa application for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30263/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The "Join Family" visa application referred to by the Deputy was submitted to the Dar-es-Salaam Visa Office on 10 March 2020, for processing in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification.

The Policy Document contains a stated business target that visa applications to join Irish citizen family members should be dealt with within six months of receipt of application. However, this is a business target and does not constitute a legal obligation. The business target reflects the detailed and often complex assessment that is required to be carried out in relation to applications for family reunification.

It is not possible to give a definitive date as to when these applications will be finalised. All applications are processed in chronological order, based on date order of receipt. While every effort is made to process applications as soon as possible, processing times will vary having regard to the volume and complexity of applications, the possible need for the Immigration Service to investigate, inquire into, or seek further information, and the resources available.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way the Immigration Service of my Department conducts its business. In line with public health advice, the Immigration Service has implemented a suite of measures to help in reducing the spread of the virus. These measures include the implementation of remote working for staff in order to comply with social and physical distancing measures. Unfortunately, these measures have led to a reduction in processing capacity. While delays can be expected, including in the processing of family reunification visa applications, the Immigration Service is operating to the best of its ability.

Applicants can e-mail any queries directly to visamail@justice.ie and may also keep up to date on Visa applications at: www.inis.gov.ie/en/inis/pages/visa%20decisions.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.