Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

International Protection

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
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124. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of applicants for international protection that were dealt with under the single application procedure in 2020 and to date in 2021. [60694/21]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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My Department's overall objective is to have decisions made on applications from people seeking international protection as quickly as possible. This ensures that those who are found to be in need of protection in Ireland can receive it quickly and begin rebuilding their lives here with a sense of safety and security.

However, efforts to improve processing times have been seriously impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has reduced the output of decisions considerably and below those projected in advance of the pandemic.

Despite the complex challenges presented by the pandemic, the IPO processed 2,276 applications for international protection to completion in 2020. To put this in context, this was just under 67% of the total in achieved in 2019 (3,408 applications). The IPO has processed a total of 1,892 first instance recommendations and decisions this year, to end October 2021.

My Department is fully committed to implementing the key recommendations in the Expert Advisory Group Report to reduce processing times of both first instance decisions and appeals to 6 months respectively, as outlined in the White Paper to End Direct Provision and Establish a New International Protection Support Service.

An end-to-end review of relevant international protection processes by a multi-disciplinary team from my Department, has now been completed and published. A series of measures are being put in place to address the recommendations of the review and improve efficiencies and throughput.

Furthermore, as I announced last week, the Government's regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants will include a parallel process to implement the recommendation included in the Report of the Expert Advisory Group, by allowing international protection applicants who have an outstanding application for international protection and have been in the asylum process for a minimum of two years to apply.


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