Written answers

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Department of Justice and Equality

Citizenship Applications

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick, Fianna Fail)
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207. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the residence requirements to be fulfilled by subsidiary protection holders when applying for Irish citizenship by naturalisation; if these are the same as the requirements for refugees; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16270/15]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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A person who is granted Subsidiary Protection is required to satisfy the residency conditions under Section 15 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 provided certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. The conditions are that the applicant must:

- be of full age

- be of good character

- have 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, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years

- intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation

- have, before a judge of the District Court in open court, in a citizenship ceremony or in such manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows— (i) made a declaration, in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and (ii) undertaken to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.

Section 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, provides that the Minister may, in her absolute discretion, waive some or all of the statutory conditions in certain circumstances i.e. where an applicant is of Irish descent or of Irish associations; where an applicant is a person who is a refugee within the meaning of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; or where an applicant is a Stateless person within the meaning of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Stateless persons. Accordingly, this provision does not apply to those granted Subsidiary Protection.

An on-line residency calculator is available on the website www.inis.gov.ie which may be of assistance in establishing if the residency requirements are met. It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements.

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