Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Justice and Equality

Naturalisation Applications

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
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302. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No.462 of 14 November 2022 concerning a person (details supplied); if the application has been processed yet; if he will set out the expected timeframe for the completion of the consideration of this application; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12079/23]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The naturalisation application from the person referred to by the Deputy continues to be processed by my Department, with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation. It will be submitted to me for decision in due course.

The Citizenship division of my Department wrote to the person concerned on 2 March, requesting further documentation. Once the documents are received, the application will continue to be processed.

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

I understand the extended wait times can be frustrating for applicants and my Department has been working hard to clear backlogs.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. However, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

However, 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.

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.


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