Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
315. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the timescale for applications by persons from outside the EU seeking approval for work visas in cases in which they have already received their work permit; the average timescale for applications concluded in 2019 to date in 2020; if there has been a decrease in the processing time for same in recent months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2602/20]
Decisions regarding the grant or refusal of employment visas are made in a number of Immigration Service Delivery Visa Offices overseas; in the Immigration Service Delivery Visa Office in Dublin; and at Embassies of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which process certain visa applications under delegated sanction from my Department.
The processing times for employment visa decisions are published on the Visa pages of each Visa Office and Embassy website. However, it should be noted that target times for the processing of visas are established as a business target and do not constitute a legal obligation. These business targets reflect the detailed and often complex assessment that is required to be carried out in relation to applications.
As of 3 March 2020, the Visa Office in Dublin is processing employment visa applications it received before 19 February 2020. This compares with a processing date of 27 February 2019 at a similar time last year.
More generally, the processing time for visas in each location will vary based on a number of factors such as the number of applications, seasonal pressures, the complexity of the applications, whether further information or investigation is required, and the resources available. While every effort is made to process such applications as quickly as possible, processing times inevitably vary during the year and from one location to another.
The central concern, as with all visa services worldwide, in deciding on visa applications 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 meet the criteria. Each visa application is therefore decided on its own merits taking all factors into account.