Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Justice and Equality

Citizenship Applications

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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302. 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); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24086/22]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Applications for naturalisation received by my Department are processed in chronological order. The application for the person referred to by the Deputy will be registered in the coming weeks. Following initial assessment of the application, my Department will issue an application reference number.

My Department is taking a number of steps to speed up the processing of applications and a number of digitisation measures have also been introduced to increase efficiency in the process, including eTax clearance, eVetting and online payments. The end result of the digitisation process will be to free up more staff to focus on processing applications in a timely and efficient manner, to improve service to our customers and reduce waiting times. From the beginning of this year, applicants are also no longer required to submit their original passport with their initial application.

In 2021, my Department issued 11,512 citizenship decisions, which is the highest number of decisions made since 2015, and reflects positively the significant changes undertaken to date. Additional staff have also been assigned to the citizenship team.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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303. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the current position in relation eligibility for citizenship and naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24088/22]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

A determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation can only be made after an application is received. When submitting an application the onus is on the applicant to determine if they satisfy all of the eligibility criteria.

Section 15 of the Act sets out the statutory conditions that must be fulfilled for a certificate of naturalisation to be granted. Section 6A also provides details on the criteria for naturalisation that applies to a child born to parents who were legally resident in the State at the time of their birth.

Detailed information on Irish citizenship and the naturalisation process, along with the relevant application forms and guidance notes, is available on my Department's immigration website at: www.irishimmigration.ie/how-to-become-a-citizen/.

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