446. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice the number of applications for international protection that have been made each of the past five years; and the number of such applicants who have applied as a stateless person in each of the past five years. [60314/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The International Protection Office (IPO) of my Department is responsible for examining all international protection applications received.
Under the International Protection Act 2015, each application is assessed individually on its merits. Generally, all applicants for international protection are carefully interviewed and their cases are individually assessed by experienced caseworkers. The circumstances of each individual case is assessed having regard to both the subjective elements (the applicant’s own account or personal history) and objective elements (up-to-date information on the applicant’s country or place of origin).
Where it appears that an applicant may be stateless, the international protection officer makes a finding (solely for the purposes of the international protection determination process) as to whether the applicant is stateless. This finding is made having regard to all relevant evidence and to country of origin information as appropriate. The claims of stateless persons are determined in respect of their country of former habitual residence (the country with which the applicant has the closest connection).
While an applicant with multiple nationalities must establish a well-founded fear of persecution or a real risk of serious harm against each of his or her countries of nationality, in the case of a stateless applicant with multiple countries of former habitual residence, it is sufficient if the applicant can establish such a well-founded fear or risk with respect to any country of former habitual residence.
The table below provides the details requested by the Deputy on the total number of applications made by international protection applicants for the period 2017 to date (end October 2021).
Applications for International Protection 2017 to Date
|Year of Application||No. of Applications for International Protection 2017- 2021 (end October)|
|2021 (to end October)||1,808|
During the period 2017 to 2021 (end October) there have been less than 6 applications in respect of persons who specifically claimed that they were ‘stateless’ when they lodged their applications for international protection. Many stateless applicants do not identify themselves as such when applying. The IPO’s statistical databases do not provide the facility for generating statistics on the number of applicants who have been found to be stateless.
Where the number of applications referred to is low, a breakdown by year is not provided. This is for reasons of confidentiality, as provided for under Section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015. Question No. 447 answered with Question No. 444.