1495. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice when a visa application will be approved in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20581/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The visa application for the person referred to by the Deputy was created online on 21 September 2020, and processing of this application is ongoing at present. However, a decision on this application will not issue until the current travel restrictions on international travel have been lifted.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic a decision to temporarily cease accepting new visa/preclearance applications, with the exception of Priority or Emergency applications, applies to all countries and has been in place since 29 January 2021. Applications that were received prior that date, will continue to be processed. However, unless the application meets the Emergency or Priority criteria, a visa or preclearance approval letter will not issue until such time as these restrictions have been lifted.
These measures are designed to support our current public health restrictions on movement, including into and out of Ireland. The increased travel restrictions, along with the mandatory hotel quarantine measures introduced as part of the Government’s efforts to interrupt the transmission of COVID-19, means that travel may not be possible and even if possible is not advisable unless absolutely essential.
The framework for these restrictive measures is set out in the Government’s Resilience and Recovery: Plan for Living with COVID 19. These measures have now been extended to at least 5 May 2021.
When making such decisions, the Government considers the expert public health advices of NPHET to tackle the disease. The situation will continue to be reviewed in consultation with the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited. Question No. 1496 answered with Question No. 1437.