Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Justice and Equality

Naturalisation Applications

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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123. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if further application for naturalisation may be entertained in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46659/14]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. Section 15 of the Act provides that the Minister may, in her absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation if satisfied certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. In particular, these conditions require that an applicant is of good character; has had a period of one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, has had a total residence in the State amounting to four years; that he or she intends in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation; and has made a declaration of fidelity to the Irish nation and loyalty to the State in the prescribed manner. A foreign national who is married to, or is the Civil Partner of, an Irish citizen for at least three years may apply for naturalisation under section 15A of the Irish Naturalisation and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, where they have been continuously resident in the island of Ireland for the year immediately prior to the date of their application and for two out of the four years prior to that year. The marriage or civil partnership must be subsisting and recognised under Irish law.

It would be inappropriate for me to indicate how specific offences will be considered in any future application as each application is considered on its merits based on the entirety of the case presented at that time. I can inform the Deputy that I am concerned to ensure that the threshold of what constitutes good character is, taking all things into account, maintained at an appropriate level and as such is fair to all applicants having regard to their particularcircumstances.

It is open to the person concerned to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended.

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 I know the Deputy will appreciate that 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.


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