486. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 93 of 4 April 2019, the progress in processing the 3,100 applications under the new non-EEA student scheme which stood at 800; and when the remainder will be completed in view of the vulnerable position of the students concerned. [19051/19]


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 since my response to the Deputy last month. To date, INIS has made a decision in approximately 1,170 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.