Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Justice and Equality
436. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of a citizenship application by a person (details supplied); if the passport of the person submitted as part of the application will be returned given that the person will be traveling soon; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49407/21]
The application of the person referred to by the Deputy has been received by my Department and I am advised that their passport will be returned to them in the coming days.
My Department has not suspended the receipt or processing of citizenship applications at any stage during the pandemic. However, processing rates have unfortunately been negatively impacted by the attendant health and safety related restrictions.
Under normal circumstances, passports are returned approximately 10 days after their receipt. However, the current limits on staff attendance in the office due to COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delays in the return of some passports.
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. The citizenship website advises that in these circumstances, applicants should email the citizenship helpdesk firstname.lastname@example.org with the relevant details including the postal tracking reference if available. Any request must be accompanied by appropriate scanned supporting material detailing the reasons for travel, such as medical information. Any request of this nature is dealt with promptly.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility at INISOireachtasMail@justice.ie, 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.