471. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when contact will be made with a person (details supplied) to declare them a refugee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18804/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, for confidentiality reasons, it is not the practice to comment on applications for International Protection nor on whether or not any particular application has been made. Under Section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015, it is an offence to identify an international protection applicant. The offence is punishable by summary conviction to a Class A fine or a term of imprisonment of 12 months or both.
If applicants are seeking information on the status of their international protection application, they or their designated legal advisor should contact the Customer Service Centre of the International Protection Office (IPO) directly, either by email at, by telephone at 01 6028008 or in writing at Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.
An applicant who has lodged an appeal against an IPO refusal recommendation should approach the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) directly. The IPAT operates an email service which can be contacted by individuals with queries regarding their appeal application -
Individuals who have received a recommendation or decision from the foregoing bodies, and who are now awaiting a Ministerial Decision letter, can avail of the email service operated by the Ministerial Decisions Unit -
The Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications for International Protection under the International Protection Act 2015 on 27 February 2017, which is available on the website of the International Protection Office at the following link.
More generally, queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this 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 the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.