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Question

428. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Stamp 0 visas that have been granted, by nationality, for each of the past five years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34374/15]

429. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Stamp 0 visas that have been granted for persons and which have been renewed, for each of the past five years; the number of persons who have been awarded these visas for two, three, four, five, six, seven, ten and more than ten years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34375/15]

430. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will consider extending the duration for Stamp 0 visas for those who have completed three consecutive years of being awarded Stamp 0 visas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34376/15]

431. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will consider having an application for Stamp 0 visas by a married couple considered as one application for administrative and fee purposes; reducing the fee for those over 70 years of age; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34377/15]

436. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there has been a recent policy change concerning the naturalisation and immigration service's policy toward retirees from outside the European Union, including the replacement of a Stamp 3 with a Stamp 0; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34506/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 428 to 431, inclusive, and 436 together.
I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that Stamp 0 has been in operation since 2011 and that it is a low level immigration status.
I understand that it is mainly granted to persons who have been approved by INIS for a limited and specific stay in Ireland. An inherent condition of their residence permission is that they are self-sufficient and are not permitted to avail of any State benefits while residing here, even if they acquire an entitlement to such benefits from the service provider.
When Stamp 0 residence permission was originally implemented it was intended to cater for marginal situations where a person would not otherwise be granted immigration permission and to thus provide some additional flexibility in the system.
The financial criteria required to allow a person to sponsor an elderly dependent relative are set out in Chapter 18 of the Family Reunification Policy Document. For persons of independent means, the financial threshold is generally considered to be a lump sum to purchase a property in the State plus an income in excess of €50,000 per person per annum. Each application is dealt with on a case by case basis.
I am further informed by my officials in the INIS that the Stamp 0 immigration permission scheme is currently under review and the Deputies' comments will be taken into consideration in this regard. Given the scope of the queries submitted, resources do not allow INIS to supply the statistics requested.