176. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there has been a delay and a change in criteria for Venezuelan nationals applying for visas here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40974/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that Venezuelan nationals are required to obtain a visa in order to travel to Ireland. A visa required person must apply for a visa for the particular purpose of their visit. Such applications are processed under delegated sanction by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, more specifically in this case by the Irish Embassy in Mexico.
Any person who wishes to come to Ireland from a visa required country must fulfil the relevant criteria for the particular visa application, i.e. study, employment, join family, volunteer, Minister of Religion, etc. There has been no change in the criteria, and the onus rests at all times with the applicant to satisfy the Visa Officer that the visa sought for whatever purpose should be granted.
Further information is generally available on the Embassy of Ireland's website in Mexico, and on the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie. However, it should be noted that the information on the website does not limit the discretion of a Visa Officer from seeking additional information. Each visa application is thus assessed on its individual merits, and circumstances including the complexity and length of time taken to process an application can inevitably vary from one individual to another.