Written answers

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Birth Registration

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)
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340. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the processing of foreign births registration applications has resumed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33375/21]

Photo of Jennifer Carroll MacNeillJennifer Carroll MacNeill (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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342. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to resume the processing of foreign birth registrations; the estimated backlog; the length of time it will take to clear; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33453/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 340 and 342 together.

The processing of Foreign Births Registration (FBR) applications has been temporarily paused as a result of COVID-19 related restrictions.

There are nearly 31,000 applications in the Foreign Births Registration (FBR) system that await processing at present. Prior to COVID-19 it took twelve to eighteen months to process applications. This was due to the complex nature of FBR applications and the very high volume of applications due to Brexit.

The Passport Service will resume processing FBR applications as soon as the COVID Passport backlog is fully cleared. In cases of exceptional urgency the applicant may contact the Passport Service directly.

Comments

Julius Bailey-Augalistas
Posted on 27 Jun 2021 3:05 am (Report this comment)

So when will FBR applications start to be processed? A few weeks ago is said on the DFA website that this would be when Ireland is at Level 3. This statement has since been removed. What the hell is going on?

Why are you merely prioritising expectant parents? What about people with relocation / career / study needs? Why are you giving special consideration for merely having had sexual intercourse? If passing on hereditary citizenship were that important to an individual they could have used contraception and given birth to their offpring later!

What use is the damn awful Live Chat service with the passport team - who purport not to know anything about FBR and cannot and will not provide any information whatsoever - that is when one can even get through to them - which most of the time one can't?

Why are you saying imtimating that FBR applications are all complex? Many are not! Why can you not expedite applications where the research has clearly been done and evidenced?

Julius Bailey-Augalistas
Posted on 27 Jun 2021 3:07 am (Report this comment)

Here is the text from my petition on change dot org:

https://www.change.org/p/miche%C3%A1l-martin-taoiseach-pleas...

Never before has Europe been so fractured and divided. The global pandemic has seen millions around the globe put their lives on hold. The folly of Brexit has compounded the feelings of hopelessness and despair felt by many Brits who have been robbed of their European status, largely at the whim of a narrow majority of ignorant, misguided and narrow-minded people. Many a person, like me, has seen their living, beating European heart ripped out, and yet now it seems that the Irish Government is heartless too, for it has left many hundreds of thousands of people who are applying for Irish citizenship by descent, languishing in a post-Brexit purgatorial hell, with nothing likely to become of their application for years, and no way of getting any tangible update. Has the Irish Government's European heart been ripped out too? Or is it just its mind? As a modern, progressive European nation, Ireland should be looking to ensure that we, the global Irish Diaspora, are given the opportunity to reconnect with our Irish heritage and European connections without undue let or hindrance and with improved communication. It is shocking that the Foreign Births Registration process, a tedious and tortuous process (2-year time frame) at the best of times, has now become "torturous" to those who have employment and study prospects in Ireland and other EU countries. It seems that only expectant parents are currently being given any consideration for the expedition of their FBR / passport applications. Many people, myself included, have had to go into the office every day throughout the pandemic. Why should the DFA's FBR Team be any different? Why take an already painfully slow process and make it worse by putting it almost totally on ice? Why is the only line of contact via a webchat team that does not even deal with the FBR process and are of no help at all? We, the signatories of this petition call upon you, an Taioseach, and your ministers, we beseech and implore you to review the process to make consideration for other pressing circumstances, and to prioritise less complex cases where the genealogical reports are readily available and just need to be cross-checked. If Ireland upholds European values, including the human rights considerations that are so fundamental to EU ideology, it must acknowledge and address the suffering of the many applicants who currently feel bereft of hope - unless, that is, they happen to have had sexual intercourse and be expecting a child! There is more to life than that! To only afford consideration to one set of circumstances is both discriminatory and unfair. The total lack of communication is appalling. Please review the process, an Taoiseach. We are not saying that we are Irish - we are of Irish descent and we are damn proud of it! We are European and we are proud of it! We will see some EU beacon of light where there is darkness, and with your help, an Taoiseach, we can! Thank you for reading. Regards, Flatcap Julius.

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