Seanad debates

Friday, 26 March 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Citizenship Applications

10:30 am

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Irrespective of whether we are assessing asylum applications or citizen applications, it is important that we have a fair system that acknowledges that everybody who has applied is making some contribution, be it working in healthcare are in other settings. The most important thing is to have a system that goes through the application process as quickly as possible and that nobody is waiting for years on end. I know that a backlog has emerged, particularly over the last year which has meant that waiting times are much longer. Many of the people the Senator spoke about are waiting because of that. With the new mechanism for conferring citizenship in place, it is my intention to get rid of those backlogs this year.

While we have a review of the international protection process set up for 2022, should something arise and should there be some difficulty between now and then, we have a commitment to invest in our ICT this year. I anticipate we will address all those backlogs and hopefully the review will show that that is the case and that no changes will need to be made.

I again thank everyone who has been working on the front line throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything is being done to ensure that those who are in the system can be processed as quickly as possible.


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