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Visa Applications

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 30 September 2021

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Ceisteanna (299, 300)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

299. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice her plans to publish a policy decision to relax the usual evidentiary burden in relation to the supporting documents required for D visa applications in respect of persons currently in Afghanistan, particularly in view of the difficulties and risks associated with obtaining, translating and transporting original documents under the Taliban; if copies of supporting documents, such as passports and birth certificates, are currently being accepted by her Department in respect of visa applications from persons in Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [47275/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

300. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice if her Department is currently waiving the usual financial requirements in respect of D visas in respect of persons from Afghanistan as permitted by paragraph 1.12 of the December 2016 Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification in view of the current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [47277/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 299 and 300 together.

In response to the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, my Department is currently focused on processing applications for Afghan family members of Irish citizens and Afghan nationals living in Ireland. We are prioritising all such applications and processing them speedily and sympathetically.

All visa applicants are advised that the onus is on them to provide as much information in support of their application as they feel is necessary. Guidelines in this regard are posted on the Immigration Service website (www.irishimmigration.ie). Supporting documents are vital because they provide information about the applicant’s circumstances and identity. It is the applicant’s responsibility to satisfy the Visa Officer that a visa should be granted for the purpose sought.

The applicant must provide evidence of any claimed relationship to a sponsor in the State. The responsibility to show proof as to the genuineness of the relationship rests on the applicant and their sponsor. The nature of the evidence required will depend on the relationship claimed.

Ultimately, my Department must be able to determine the identity of the applicant, whatever documentation is provided. As commercial flights have resumed from Kabul airport, the applicant must have a valid passport to travel by commercial airline. The Visa Office also require original passports in order to place the visa sticker into them.  

The visa fee is an administration fee which covers the cost of processing an application and is not a charge for the visa itself. That remains the case, even in current circumstances.

Any requests for fee waivers are considered on a case by case basis. To determine if an application may be fee waivered, the sponsor should contact the relevant Visa Office in Abu Dhabi and outline in detail their circumstances.

The contact details for this office can be found at the following link: www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/uae/contact-us/visa-queries/

As with all visa services worldwide, the overarching concern is to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the country's vital national interests by maintaining an effective immigration regime, while at the same time facilitating travel for those who are entitled to come to Ireland. 

Question No. 300 answered with Question No. 299.
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