197. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of decisions made to date in the special student scheme 2005 to 2010; and when he expects decisions to be made in all of the 3,100 applications. [20399/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that significant progress has been made in relation to processing applications under the Special Scheme for Students. To date, INIS has made a decision in approximately 1,250 cases.
The Deputy will appreciate that the Special Student Scheme caseload is complex and must be processed in accordance with the scheme criteria and relevant legal requirements. I am assured that INIS continues to optimise available resources, including the provision of overtime, with the overarching objective of delivering sound decisions to all applicants under the scheme as soon as possible.