Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Justice and Equality

Family Reunification Applications

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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275. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person in receipt of a disability allowance payment can be considered an eligible sponsor for a family reunification application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [47237/14]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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The position on such applications is set out in the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification published by my predecessor on 31 December 2013.

In general, the sponsor must be in a position to support such family members by not having been reliant on State benefits from the Irish State for a continuous period in excess of two years immediately prior to the application. Disability allowance payments are excluded from such a requirement. Since it must be assumed that such benefits recognise a lack of capacity to otherwise earn a living, the end result would be that a person on disability benefit could never benefit from family reunification. This would be unfair. Therefore, persons receiving disability benefits are considered eligible sponsors, subject of course to meeting any other necessary requirements. Furthermore, financial capacity is just one of the conditions that is considered when making a determination on a family reunification application and the circumstances of the parties concerned are considered in the round on a case by case basis.


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