Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Immigration Figures Released as Minister Looks Ahead to 2012

Ireland saw a sharp decline in the numbers of asylum seekers entering the country in 2011. Only 1250 people claimed asylum here last year, just 1/10 of the peak figure of 11,600 in 2002.

The decrease in figures has been attributed to increased control measures. These most recent figures are the ninth successive fall in numbers claiming asylum since its highest point ten years ago. But also relevant in the economic downturn as Ireland’s attraction as a desirable destination point wanes.

Minster Shatter announced the figures in a press release yesterday. Alongside statistics  for 2011 came welcome news for those involved in other immigration processes. A clear statement on policy in regards Family Reunification is promised. Also a six-month processing time can be expected for all standard citizenship application from this Spring onwards.

Other measures will include the implementation of an Immigrant Investor Programme, a start up Entrepreneur Programme for Immigrants, a review of the operation of the Pilot Visa Programme, implementation of a Civilianisation officer pilot programme at Dublin Airport, to be launched this month, and completion of work on the development of an English language/Civics test for naturalisation applicants. 

Minister Shatter also detailed that 2012 would see the department looking across the water: ‘In particular, the promotion of the Visa Waiver Programme in the context of the London Olympics will be a key priority with the aim of boosting tourism and visitors to Ireland. Similarly, new initiatives targeted at immigrant investors and entrepreneurs will be prioritised with the purpose of attracting inward investment and job creation.’

Minister Shatter's full statement is available here

Brophy Solicitors 

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