Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Eamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
The Passports Act, 2008 provides, inter alia, that only Irish citizens are entitled to be issued with Irish passports. Each application received by the Passport Service must, therefore, demonstrate that person’s entitlement to Irish citizenship before a passport can issue. The person in question was born in Co. Mayo on 1 June, 2009. Her entitlement to Irish citizenship is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended (the Act). Section 6A of the Act provides that persons, born in the State on or after 1 January 2005, where neither parent is an Irish or British citizen or otherwise entitled to reside in the State or Northern Ireland without restriction, may claim citizenship by birth in the State (and thereby establish eligibility for an Irish passport) only where a parent has been lawfully resident in the State for three years of the four years preceding their birth.
It is the practice of this Department to seek and consider documentary proofs of Irish citizenship in all passport applications. In the case of passport applicants, born in the State on or after 1 January 2005, where neither parent is Irish, British, or otherwise entitled to reside in the State or Northern Ireland without restriction, proofs are specifically required in respect of the lawful residence in the island of Ireland of a parent to establish an entitlement to citizenship for the child.
In line with guidelines provided by Department of Justice and Equality, which is the Department responsible for immigration and citizenship, the proofs of lawful residence which are accepted and considered by this Department for passport applications are immigration stamps in passports and/or the registration cards/books which are given to persons registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). These are official documents which can be objectively verified by the Department.
In the case of the person in question, two applications were made, on her behalf, to the Department in 2010 and 2011. On both occasions, the evidence of immigration stamps and cards in respect of the child’s mother in the period 1 June, 2005 to 31 May, 2009 did not yield the required amount of lawful residence to demonstrate this person’s entitlement to Irish citizenship and thus a passport.
The Passport Service wrote to the parents in respect of both applications to seek additional evidence of the parent’s lawful residence in order to progress their daughter’s passport application to passport issue. As no response was received to these letters, the Passport Service is unable to issue a passport to the person in question under the Passport Act, 2008.