283. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the requirements there are by way of cash assets persons must bring with them in the case of a Syrian citizen who is applying for entry to live with an Irish born spouse; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30709/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the financial criteria for a Join Family (Irish National Spouse) visa application is outlined in section 17 of the Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification available on the INIS website (www.inis.gov.ie).
In order to sponsor an immediate family member, an Irish citizen must not have been totally or predominantly reliant on benefits from the Irish State for a continuous period in excess of 2 years immediately prior to the application. In addition, the sponsor must have earned a cumulative gross income, over and above any State benefits, of not less than €40,000 over the three year period prior to application.
Declared and verified savings held by an applicant or sponsor may be taken into account in assessing cases which fall short of the income thresholds set out in the Policy Document.
The onus will be on the applicant to satisfy the immigration authorities as to the level of earnings or financial resources and to provide any evidence required in support thereof.
The Irish Refugee Protection Programme Humanitarian Admission Programme 2 (IHAP) also provides an opportunity to Irish citizens and persons with Convention refugee status, subsidiary protection status, and programme refugee status, who have immediate eligible family members from Syria, to propose to the Minister for these family members to join them in Ireland.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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 INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.
In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail visa queries directly to INIS (firstname.lastname@example.org).