Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Birth Registration

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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198. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a decision will be made regarding citizenship for a person (details supplied); if the matter will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23887/22]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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My Department is responsible for citizenship by descent through the Foreign Births Register under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.

The processing of Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) has resumed and will be gradually scaling up in line with the recruitment of additional resources. Due to the complex nature of the FBR process, the large increase in applications received following the Brexit vote in the UK, and the pause in the Service due to necessary Covid-19 restrictions, applicants should allow approximately 2 years from the receipt of supporting documentation for processing of FBR applications at this time. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, and the subsequent reassignment of FBR staff to assist in the provision of essential passport services, the Foreign Birth Registration Service was paused for nearly 15 months across the 2020-2021 period.

The application referenced was registered on 26 May 2021 and is being stored in a secure environment. Given the circumstances outlined by the Deputy, this application will be reviewed by the Passport Service in the coming days.

FBR staff continue to provide an emergency service for Foreign Birth Registration in cases of exceptional urgency, such as expectant parents, or stateless persons. Such applicants may continue to contact the Passport Service directly. For other applications, the FBR service operates a transparent general policy of processing applications in order of receipt.

My Department is fully committed to the continued allocation of additional resources over the coming period to assist with the processing of the Foreign Birth Registration applications currently on hand and the high volume of new applications anticipated this year.


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