1004. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure and requirements for obtaining a visa for a person married to an Irish citizen in circumstances in which the non-citizen has never resided here and in which the marriage took place outside the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34492/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that certain nationals are required to obtain a visa in order to travel to Ireland. The person concerned should apply for a Join Family visa if the purpose of their journey is to reside in Ireland with their Irish citizen spouse.
The INIS website (www.inis.gov.ie) contains comprehensive guidelines to assist the applicant with the application process. The information available includes the Policy Document of Non-EEA Family Reunification which sets out the general considerations for such applications. It should, however, be noted that the information contained on the website is intended to provide guidance only and does not limit the discretion of the Visa Officer in dealing with individual applications. The onus rests at all times with the applicant to satisfy the Visa Officer that any visa sought should be granted.
Join Family applications, where the sponsor is an Irish national, will typically be dealt with within 6 months of receipt of all the required documentation, as set out in the Policy Document. This is a business target which reflects the detailed assessment that is required to be carried out in relation to applications for family reunification. It does not constitute a legal obligation and applications may take longer due to the individual circumstances or complexity of the application.
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 queries directly to INIS (email@example.com).