Written answers

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Visa Applications

2:00 pm

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Question 72: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform when an application for family reunification will be completed in respect of a person (details supplied); if two years is an average waiting time for such applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4341/11]

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Minister, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to made an application for Family Reunification in January 2009.

I understand that a letter issued to the person's legal representative in July 2010 informing them that the INIS is waiting on an interdepartmental report. A further letter issued on the 5th January 2011 advising the person concerned that they should contact their legal representative.

In recent years significant progress had been made in reducing the waiting period to 15-16 months. However, some cases may take considerably longer than this. Family Reunification cases, of their nature, can give rise to longer than average processing times because of the necessary checks to establish the family relationships and, where appropriate, dependancy on the applicant. This work includes the examination and verification of relevant documentation and other background investigations. In some cases, depending on the country of origin of the applicant, it can prove very difficult to produce the kind of documentation requested. When such documents are lacking this naturally can lead to considerable further delay.

Furthermore, legal proceedings taken in these cases, including cases pending a decision of the Courts, may also affect the processing of applications for family reunification.

I should remind the Deputy that queries in relation to the status of individual Immigration cases may be made direct to INIS by Email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. The service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek this information through the more administratively expensive Parliamentary Questions process.

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