Written answers

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Citizenship Applications

9:00 am

Photo of Terence FlanaganTerence Flanagan (Dublin North East, Fine Gael)
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Question 228: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform if he will deal with a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42456/10]

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 September 2008.

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 26 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.

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. Officials in the Citizenship Division inform me that processing of the application is ongoing and the file will be submitted to me for a decision in due course. If her application for a certificate of naturalisation is successful then the person concerned can apply for an Irish passport.

I should remind the Deputy that queries in relation to the status of individual Immigration cases may be made direct to INIS by Email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. The service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek this information through the more administratively expensive Parliamentary Questions process.

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