Written answers

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Citizenship Applications

11:00 pm

Photo of Caoimhghín Ó CaoláinCaoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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Question 924: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform the number of persons granted citizenship, by previous nationality, since 2005; and the number of citizenship applications refused, by nationality, since 2005. [32159/10]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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I have asked officials in my Department to compile the statistics requested and I will revert to the Deputy in due course.

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
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Question 925: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform if he will extend the non fee for citizenship applications to persons on social welfare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32173/10]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended, provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation. In accordance with the legislation I make decisions on naturalisation applications based on all of the information available to me. I have adopted a general policy that I will normally require an applicant for naturalisation, unless he/she is a refugee, programme refugee or Stateless person, to show that he/she has supported him or herself (and his or her family if appropriate) while residing in the State and, as far as can be determined, is in a position to continue that support into the future. I am, generally speaking, satisfied to accept that an applicant is self supporting if he or she has not availed of State support in the 3 year period prior to the date of application or subsequently has satisfied officials that they have supported themselves independently for that period. Certification fees for Citizenship were last changed in August 2008. While the fees are designed to reflect the effort and cost involved in processing the different categories of applicant, the current certification fees do not recoup the full cost of processing in any category. Certificates of naturalisation can only be issued on payment of the prescribed fee at the time of certification.

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