Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
491. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the progress to date in the determination of an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied); if the original passports can be returned as soon as possible; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44624/20]
Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement to comply with public health guidelines, unprecedented delays are being experienced in the issuing of acknowledgment receipts and the processing and return of documentation and the updating of records in relation to new citizenship applications.
During this period, the majority of staff in the Citizenship Division of the Immigration Service are working remotely. The verification of passports cannot be performed remotely due to data protection concerns. The focus of the Division at this time is on the general processing of applications and new applications will be dealt with as soon as circumstances allow.
Applicants are advised not to send in their application during the pandemic if they anticipate that they may have to travel at short notice. However, I fully appreciate that people may have to travel at short notice for emergency reasons and the citizenship website advises that in these circumstances, applicants should email the citizenship helpdesk with the relevant details at: email@example.com. Any request must be accompanied by appropriate scanned supporting material detailing the reasons for travel, such as medical information. This service is solely for the purposes of emergency travel and any request of this nature is dealt with promptly.