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“India Added to Ireland’s ‘Safe List’; Decision on Refugee Status to Be Made Within Three Months of Arrival”

Dublin: India, Egypt, and Brazil have been added to Ireland’s Safe List, ensuring that asylum decisions for refugees from these countries will be made within three months of their arrival in Ireland.

Minister Helen McEntee is expected to present the updated Safe List, which includes five additional countries, at today’s cabinet meeting. This government action follows opinion polls indicating that immigration has become a significant public concern.

The Ireland Safe List, first released in November 2022, currently includes Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and South Africa.

As of June 23, the Integration Department reported that Nigeria had the highest number of refugee applications (6,230), followed by Georgia (3,510) and Algeria (3,026). Algeria, added to the Safe List earlier this year, has seen a 71% drop in refugee applications from these countries, according to the Department of Justice.

To accommodate the influx of refugees, the government plans to review and streamline the emigration process. Although individuals from Safe List countries can still apply for international protection, the burden of proof lies on the applicant to demonstrate the need for protection. The process will consider evidence of persecution based on factors such as LGBTQ+ status, gender, religion, or ethnicity, with decisions made within 90 days.

Nick Henderson of the Irish Refugee Council stated that the Safe List comprises countries where there are no persistent reports of torture, inhumane treatment, or discrimination, resulting in a lower average number of refugees from these countries.

India and Brazil, which have relatively fewer refugees arriving in Ireland, have been included on the Safe List. This decision likely responds to the increasing number of individuals from these countries seeking refugee status after arriving for study or tourism purposes.

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