Applications for certificates of naturalisation were received from the persons referred to by the Deputy in the citizenship section of my Department on 19 October 2004 and 29 April 2005 respectively. Both are children of a naturalised Irish citizen.
The average processing time for applications for naturalisation is approximately 24 months at the present time. The first person, who is an adult, is a refugee. In accordance with the Government's obligations under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, every effort is made to ensure that applications from persons with refugee status are dealt with as quickly as possible, having regard for the general volume of applications on hands. It is likely that the application of the person concerned will be finalised in the early part of 2006.
The second person referred to by the Deputy is a minor. Due to the fact that such applications are more straightforward than standard adult applications, it is usually possible to finalise them in a shorter period of time. I cannot be specific on the exact time it will take to process this application, but it is unlikely to be finalised before the second quarter of 2006.
I will of course be in touch with both the Deputy and the applicants when the cases are finalised.