Wednesday, 29 July 2020
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
263. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality when tourist visa applications from the Philippines will be considered by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19274/20]
In March, the Immigration Service Delivery function of my Department temporarily suspended the processing of all non-priority visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included processing in our seven Visa Offices stationed abroad and in Irish consular missions.
A limited resumption of visa services commenced from 22 June 2020. During this initial resumption phase, the Visa Office has only been accepting Long Stay - D type - visa applications and those Short-stay - C type - visa applications identified under current criteria as Emergency/Priority visas.
My Department intends to resume accepting all applications as soon as safety concerns abate.
Certain Priority/Emergencycases will continue to be processed and these include the following:
- Emergency visa (e.g. Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals);
- Immediate family members of Irish citizens (who are returning to their ordinary place of residence in Ireland);
- Persons legally resident in the State;
- Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive;
- Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary;
- Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions.
If an application falls into one of these categories, a visa can be applied for on-line in the usual manner.
The situation is being continuously monitored and the extent of the resumption of visa services will continue to be decided in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Service Executive (HSE) guidelines both in Ireland and globally. Local Covid-19 pandemic travel and isolation restrictions may prevent local offices from being able to accept applications or from persons being allowed to travel.
Therefore, there is no definitive timeframe on when tourist visa processing will resume.
Any updates in relation to this matter will be posted on the INIS webpage, www.inis.gov.ie. Furthermore, potential applicants can also check their local Irish Embassy/Mission websites for updated information specific to their location.
Ireland does not maintain an Embassy in the Philippines. However, the Irish Embassy in Singapore and an Honorary Consular General provide consular services including visa services. The contact addresses for the Embassy and the Consular General may be found at: