125. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality what assistance can be given to a person (details supplied) who is currently living in Syria with his family, who has tried to apply for a visa to Ireland, and who is being persecuted for his Christian beliefs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33701/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) in my Department that no record of a visa application can be found based on the details supplied by the Deputy. If the Deputy is willing to provide further details, INIS will advise him of the position.
It is, more generally, open to the applicant concerned to apply at any time for a visa to travel to Ireland for any purpose, the onus resting with the applicant to satisfy the visa officer as to why the visa should be granted. All information that the applicant wishes to have taken into consideration should be included with his application. Any such application will be considered taking all the circumstances of the applicant into account. However, the Deputy will be aware that our visa system is not intended to be a protection system.
Guidelines on the visa application process including details of the required supporting documentation can be found at
If the applicant is resident in Syria, he needs to submit his application to the Syrian Honorary Consul in Damascus and it will be referred to the Irish Visa Office in Abu Dhabi. If he is unable to submit it there, he can submit it to one of the other Irish Embassies or Consulates in the surrounding area or directly to the Irish Visa Office in Abu Dhabi. Further information can be found on the website of the Irish Embassy in Abu Dhabi at
Queries in relation to general immigration matters may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for his purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.