Wednesday, 2 March 2022
Department of Justice and Equality
148. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the average processing time for student visas, both short stay C visas and long stay D visas; the actions she will take to ensure that visas are processed in a timely manner; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11822/22]
149. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the measures that are in place to ensure the timely delivery of student visas for student applicants travelling from Nigeria to pursue periods of study in third-level colleges. [11823/22]
150. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the way that the processing time of visa applications can be expedited to ensure competitive markets are tapped into by third-level colleges in view of investment into student recruitment drives to countries such as Nigeria; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11824/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 to 150, inclusive, together.
Decisions regarding the granting or refusal of study visas are made in a number of Visa Offices overseas, in the Immigration Service Visa Office in Dublin, and at certain Embassies of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which process certain visa applications under delegated sanction from my Department. Applications from Nigerian residents are normally processed in Abuja.
The processing times for visa decisions are published on the Visa pages of each Visa Office and Embassy website. As of 22nd February 2022 the Dublin Visa Office was processing study visa applications received in Dublin on 2 November 2021. As of 28 February 2022 the Abuja Visa Office was processing study visa applications received in Abuja on 21 December 2021.
The business target for processing study visas is eight weeks. However, the processing time at each office and location worldwide is determined by a number of factors such as the volume and complexity of applications, whether investigation is required or not, individual circumstances, peak application periods, seasonal factors, and the resources available. While every effort is made to process applications as quickly as possible, processing times inevitably vary as a result.
My Department also maintains ongoing contact with representatives of third level institutions in the State on matters relating to international students and their entry and
The Deputy can be assured that every effort is made to keep processing times to a minimum, and a number of measures have been put in place to deal with the increased demand for visas to come to Ireland. This has included the assignment of additional staff to deal with applications, and more generally the streamlining of visa processes where possible. The position in this regard is being kept under review.
The central concern in deciding on visa applications, as with all visa services worldwide, 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.