Written answers

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Asylum Seekers

Photo of Colm BurkeColm Burke (Cork North Central, Fine Gael)
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152. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Afghan nationals who have been granted political asylum here to date since the fall of the democratically-elected Government in Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57872/21]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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My Department is currently reviewing all international protection applications on hand from Afghan nationals with a view to expediting their progress. This is in line with updated advice provided by UNHCR. These applications are already prioritised, as agreed with UNHCR. The processing of these applications takes full account of whether a person will be in danger if not provided with protection here.

There are currently 158 applications on hand in the International Protection Office from people providing Afghanistan as their country of nationality at the time of application. 140 of these applications have been made this year (up to the end of October). All of these cases are being expedited for processing.

So far this year (to end October), a total of 75 international protection applicants who provided Afghanistan as their country of nationality were granted international protection (either refugee status or subsidiary protection status). This figure includes 62 Afghan applicants who were granted international protection since the the beginning of the current crisis in Afghanistan in August 2021.

More than 750 Afghan nationals have already been granted immigration permissions to reside in the State so far this year. This includes over 500 Afghans who have been granted visa waivers by my Department under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, administered by Minister O'Gorman's Department.


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