Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (170)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

170 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position in respect of naturalisation in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6517/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

I have been informed by officials in the citizenship section of my Department that one of the persons concerned is already an Irish citizen, through registration in the foreign births register, and that there is no record of an application for naturalisation having been received from his non-national spouse. I am not in a position to advise on the eligibility for naturalisation of the spouse without receiving further details.

However, I can advise the Deputy that a declaration of post-nuptial citizenship from the spouse was received in my Department in November 2002. One of the statutory requirements for post-nuptial citizenship is that the Irish spouse has been an Irish citizen for three years at the time of declaration. Since the husband only registered in the foreign births register on 16 July 2001, the declaration and associated papers were returned to the declarant on 15 May 2003 with an explanatory letter. It was made clear in that letter that a post-nuptial declaration could be made at any time after 16 July 2004, when the Irish spouse will have been an Irish citizen for three years, provided that the other statutory conditions are satisfied at that time.