Minister examining whether Afghan family reunification system can be expanded

ireland
Minister Examining Whether Afghan Family Reunification System Can Be Expanded Minister Examining Whether Afghan Family Reunification System Can Be Expanded
There is only six days left until the August 31st deadline for evacuations.
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James Cox

The Justice Minister says she is examining whether the system to reunite Afghan citizens with their families in Ireland can be expanded.

The Department Of Justice says it is currently receiving very high levels of correspondence from Afghan people in Ireland about the visas.

There is only six days left until the August 31st deadline for evacuations.

Minister Heather Humphreys says her department is trying to process Family Reunification applications quickly.

She said: “We're doing that as quickly as possible, again on the wider scale of things I am examining other areas where maybe we can expand it somewhere [Family Reunification system] because people are in Afghanistan and maybe their spouse or their parent is here.”

Ms Humphreys added: “They're so worried about their family at home, so I am looking at that to see if there's anything we can do to assist those [people] because it's an awful situation for them.”

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said not all Irish citizens may be evacuated from Afghanistan by the end of the month.

US troops

US President Joe Biden is not expected to delay the departure of US troops from Afghanistan to allow more people to be evacuated, as the August 31st withdrawal deadline looms.

On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that a team of Irish diplomats supported by the military has been deployed to Afghanistan to help evacuate any citizens remaining in the country.

Mr Coveney said on Tuesday: “I don’t want to raise expectations unrealistically, that everybody will get out as a result of this.

“Even beyond the 31st of this month, into September, we will continue to work with Irish citizens if they’re in Kabul.”

Diplomats

The team, made up of two diplomats and defence personnel, is expected to be in Kabul for a number of days.

“Everybody knows, unless President Biden makes a decision today to work with partners to extend their presence there beyond the 31st, everybody knows we’re talking about days not weeks,” Mr Coveney said.

Ten Irish citizens have already been evacuated with the assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the embassy in Abu Dhabi.

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