Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question 179 on 9th February, 2012. The position remains as stated.
Reply to Parliamentary Question 179 of 9th February, 2012
I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that applications for certificates of naturalisation were received from the persons referred to by the Deputy in September 2011 and May 2010 respectively.
The application from the first named person is currently being processed with a view to establishing whether he meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. The application from the second-named person is at an advanced stage of processing and she will be informed of my decision in due course.
I can inform the Deputy that good progress is being made towards eliminating the backlog of standard cases awaiting a decision for more than 6 months and it is my expectation that this objective will be achieved by late May 2012.
The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.