Review of Leave to Remain cases? (September 2010)

You may recall that back in August, the Irish Times reported a review by the Department of Justice, of applications for leave to remain that had been pending for five years or more. In our weekly update, we followed up on this with the Department and reported what we found in our weekly update back at the end of September. This is what we said –

Many of you may be aware of an article that appearedin the Irish Times Newspaper concerning a review of applications for leave to remain that had been pending for five years or more.  The Irish Refugee Council also referred to the review, which was to apply to those persons in the State living in direct provision accommodation, who had applied for asylum prior to December 2005 and who had not yet received a decision on their applications for permission to remain in the State. 
We were somewhat sceptical of such a review in the absence of anything published by the Department of Justice and Law Reform.  Nonetheless we received many queries from many of our existing clients and other applicants who felt that they fell into these criteria for a review.  Such applicants were hopeful that they would receive a positive decision on their applications very soon and we were inundated with calls and emails. 
We followed this matter up directly with the Department and the response we received was less hopeful.  We were advised that the Department review outstanding leave to remain applications on a regular basis and that there has been no recent change in the Department’s position in terms of managing it’s caseload.  The suggestion that persons in the State for more than five years and in direct provision accommodation might have their cases finalised in a favourable way was unfortunately not confirmed.
Many of our clients who applied for leave to remain two or three years ago, have been given a ‘commitment’ by the Department that their case will be determined within a certain time frame.  This position has not changed and we can only advise our clients tand other applicants that their applications should be updated with any relevant or new information and wait patiently for the outcome. 
It was disheartening to see the hope and expectation that many applicants felt when they heard that there was a new policy.  This has turned out not to be the case and these applicants must simply wait for the Minister to determine their applications.   We understand the frustration that applicants go through given that they are unable to avail of employment while they await a decision but we encourage our clients to ensure that the Minister is presented with all appropriate and relevant information prior to making his decision on applications for both leave to remain and subsidiary protection in the State. 

We look forward to hearing any of your comments and experiences on this issue. 

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