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Question

645. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Justice her views on the duty of care of Ireland to Palestinian refugees here who are awaiting the transfer of relatives whose applications for family reunification have been approved; and the timeline for when these transfers will take place given the escalating violence in the region. [25887/21]

646. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Justice if psychosocial and or informational supports are available to persons who are seeking information in relation to when their family members will be able to travel and are navigating the anxiety of their family members in Palestine being in such an unstable geopolitical situation. [25894/21]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 645 and 646 together.
The Family Reunification Unit (FRU) of the Immigration Service of my Department currently has 24 family reunification applications from Palestinian applicants on hand, 9 of which are in the final stages of processing. I expect a decision to issue on these applications shortly. FRU will continue to process applications as quickly as possible to ensure there are no delays when visa processing recommences.
Anyone with a query in relation to their family reunification application can contact FRU at: FRU_IPA@justice.ie quoting their application reference or person ID.
Travel restrictions are part of the Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 and are designed to support our current public health restrictions on movement, including into and out of Ireland. The situation will be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities as part of the consideration of matters relating to international travel more generally by Government.  When making such decisions, the Government considers the expert public health advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to tackle the disease.
Regular updates relating to visa matters are provided on the Immigration Service website at: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/COVID-19-updates-and-announcements .