Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
323. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the average period of time to process an application for naturalisation for the purpose of obtaining a passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3873/20]
It is recognised that applicants for citizenship wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While my Department endeavours to ensure that the more straightforward cases are processed to a decision within six months, this target has to be seen in the context of the work involved in dealing with large volumes of applications, some of which are very complex.
The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases can take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks may take a considerable period of time. When a decision on an application is made the certificate can only be issued when the applicant attends a citizenship ceremony arranged for the purpose of swearing the oath of allegiance before a judge. In the circumstances, it is not possible to give any meaningful average processing time per application.
Queries in relation to the status of any immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by email 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 Question process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in the cases where the response is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.