Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Citizenship Applications

Photo of Patrick CostelloPatrick Costello (Dublin South Central, Green Party)
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411. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the purpose for which a Garda Síochána or PSNI report would be requested from an application of Irish citizenship through naturalisation. [49187/21]

Photo of James BrowneJames Browne (Wexford, Fianna Fail)
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The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended provides that an application for a certificate of naturalisation may be granted if the applicant satisfies the statutory conditions, including that the applicant must be of good character.

In order to assess whether an applicant satisfies this criterion, a range of information and criminal history reports from this and other jurisdictions are considered. Such reports constitute a very important element of the process.

What exactly good character entails evolves over time, not least to take account of the enactment of new laws. However, in essence it speaks to the need for the applicant to have demonstrated a history of compliance to the laws of the land. The naturalisation application form specifically requires the applicant to list offences, but also provides an opportunity to provide additional details regarding any such offence(s). The mere fact that a person has committed an offence does not automatically result in their refusal. The individual facts of the case are assessed by the case worker and their line management.

All applicants for a certificate of naturalisation aged 16 years and older are subject to a criminal records check carried out by the National Vetting Bureau of An Garda Síochána. Applicants residing in Northern Ireland are required to provide a PSNI report. This is an necessary step in the application process.

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