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Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 4

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 34. Mr. Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  the number of applications for asylum received during 2001 and to date in 2002; the number of applications processed in that period; the decisions made; the number of deportation orders made in that period; the number of such deportations carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18508/02]

[1148]

 166. Mr. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  the number of applications for asylum currently with his Department and awaiting decision; the average length of time taken to process such applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18761/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 166 together.

The information sought by the Deputies is set out in the following tabular statement.

The current statistics clearly indicate that significant progress continues to be made in relation to the processing of asylum applications and that the increase in processing capacity which has been put in place as part of the Government's asylum strategy is making a real impact on the backlog of cases on hands. This is evidenced by the fact that the number of backlog cases, i.e. cases which are over six months old, on hand in the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal as at 30 September 2002 is now down to approximately 1,760 from a figure of approximately 6,500 at the end of September 2001, the vast majority of which are in the final stages of processing. The ORAC is currently scheduling asylum applicants who applied in August 2002 for interview. At the end of September 2002 there were 7,773 cases on hand in the ORAC and RAT, the vast majority of which were received in 2002.

Table 1

Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC)

First Instance Recommendations

Year 2001 2002(30/9/02)
Number of applications received 10,325 8,412
Number of applications processed 11,772 11,365
Recommendations to grant refugee status 458 708
Recommendations to refuse refugee status 6,501 5,961
Withdrawals processed and determinations for transfer to other countries under the Dublin Convention 4,813 4,696

Table 2

Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT)

Decisions at Appeal Stage

Year 2001 2002(30/9/02)
(1) Number of Appeals Received 4,192 4,079
(2) Number of Appeals Completed* 3,472* 4,226*

*includes applications withdrawn.

Table 3

RAT decisions made*

Year 2001 2002(30/9/02)
Decisions to grant on appeal or toset aside/overturn ORAC recommendation 655 880
Appeals refused/decisions affirmed 2161 2860

*Excluding withdrawals

[1149] Table 4

Deportation Orders

Year 2001 2002(30/9/02)
Number of Deportation Orders signed 2,025 2,127
Number of Deportation Orders effected 365 439


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