Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Questions (176)

Denis Naughten


179 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current timeframe for processing citizenship applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2733/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

The nature of the naturalisation process is such that for a broad range of reasons some cases will take longer than others to process. Accordingly, the use of averages in such a situation can be very misleading. However, as the Deputy will be aware, the measures I introduced last year have resulted in a significant increase in the number of cases decided. Over 16,000 valid applications were decided last year (compared to 7,785 for the full year in 2010) and some 7,500 invalid applications were also dealt with.

By late spring/early summer of this year it is anticipated that all standard applications, i.e. non-complex cases accounting for 70% of all applications, will be completed within 6 months. By way of comparison, when I was appointed such cases where taking over 2 years to complete.