Written answers

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Citizenship Applications

8:00 pm

Photo of Willie PenroseWillie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath, Labour)
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Question 763: To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position of an application for naturalisation by a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39420/09]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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A valid application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's Question was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in July 2007.

All valid applications are dealt with in chronological order as this is deemed to be the fairest to all applicants. The average processing time from application to decision is now at 24 months. More complicated cases can at times take more than the current average, while an element of straight forward cases can be dealt with in less than that timescale. Officials in the Citizenship Division of my Department inform me that processing of application is in the final stages and the file will be submitted to me for a decision in due course.

The length of time taken to process each application should not be classified as a delay, as the length of time taken for any application to be decided is purely a function of the time taken to carry out necessary checks. There is a limit to the reduction in the processing time that can be achieved as applications for naturalisation must be processed in a way which preserves the necessary checks and balances to ensure that it is not undervalued and is only given to persons who genuinely satisfy the necessary qualifying criteria.

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