108. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of permits issued in 2017 under the atypical scheme for non-EU migrant fishers; the numbers issued directly to the fishers; and the numbers issued to employers or boat owners. [8936/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have been advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) for Seafarers provides a lawful pathway for persons to work lawfully in the Irish fishing fleet on boats of 15 metres and over in length. In 2017, 136 permits were issued under the scheme. This figure consists of 29 permissions granted on the basis of new applications and 107 in relation to renewal of the AWS immigration permission.
All applications to the AWS are made by the employer or their agent and consequently Permit letters are issued to the Agent or Employer of non EEA migrant seafarers. However it is clearly stated on the permit letter that the original must be retained by the non-EEA seafarers themselves.