Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (185)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

185. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current and or expected residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare and their family; the procedures to be followed in respect of each family member in order to achieve naturalisation; if an interview with the Irish National Immigration Service can be arranged in respect of their spouse who is having difficulty with accessing information from their home country's embassy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29915/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State on 5 September, 2005, for an initial two year period, under the Revised Arrangements applicable to the non-EEA national parents of Irish born children born in the State before 1 January, 2005, more commonly known as the IBC/05 Scheme. This permission was later renewed for a further three years, to 5 September, 2010, and more recently to 21 February, 2013.

On 1 April, 2013, the person concerned sought to have her permission to remain renewed for a further period. However, her request to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) for renewal of registration was refused on that occasion as she was not in a position to produce a valid passport to attest to her identity and nationality, a stipulation provided for under the provisions of Section 9(2)(a) of the Immigration Act 2004.

Given that the permission to remain of the person concerned has lapsed for some four months at this stage, she should now proceed to make a formal written renewal request to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), PO Box 10003, Dublin 1. Upon receipt of such a request, the position in the State of the person concerned will be further considered.

I am advised that there is no record of an application for a Certificate of Naturalisation having been submitted by the person concerned.

In relation to the spouse of the person concerned, the position is that his permission to remain was renewed on 29 February, 2012 for a further three years, valid to 20 February, 2015. However, it would appear that he was unable to obtain GNIB registration for the period set out in his permission to remain decision letter owing to his failure to produce a valid passport to attest to his identity and nationality. As a result, he was 'registered' for a six month period, valid to 20 August, 2012, to enable him to take whatever steps were necessary to obtain a valid passport and, having done so, to present it to the GNIB so that his period of registration could be renewed in line with the position set out in his permission to remain decision letter, dated 29 February, 2012.

The Deputy might wish to note that where a person has been granted permission to remain by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), the provisions of Section 9 (2)(a) of the Immigration Act 2004 require that person to 'register' with the Garda National Immigration Bureau as soon as possible thereafter. In the context of any application for such registration, the person in question would need to have in their possession the following items:

(i) their original permission to remain decision letter,

(ii) their Passport and

(iii) the requisite registration fee.

Given that the spouse of the person concerned has not, to date, produced a current valid passport, to attest to his identity and nationality, he should proceed to do so without further delay and, having done so, he should present it to the GNIB so that his period of registration can be renewed in line with the position set out in his permission to remain decision letter, dated 29 February, 2012.

However, in the context of the passport related requirement, Section 9 (2)(a) of the Immigration Act 2004 specifically states that "... he, or she, shall, as soon as may be, furnish to the registration officer ... and, unless he or she gives a satisfactory explanation for the circumstances which prevent his or her doing so, produce to the registration officer a valid passport or other equivalent document, issued by or on behalf of an authority recognised by the Government, which establishes his or her identity and nationality."

In the event that a person making an application for such registration cannot, in spite of their best efforts, obtain a passport then he or she would need to be able to show, through the production of verifiable documentary evidence, the efforts that they have made to obtain a passport and why they were unable to do so. Where such verifiable documentary evidence is produced, the Garda National Immigration Bureau has the discretionary powers to effect registration without the production of a valid passport, however, this discretion will only be exercised in the most limited of circumstances.

It will be open to the person concerned, and her spouse, to apply to the Citizenship Division of my Department for Certificates of Naturalisation when they are in a position to meet the lawful residency criteria applicable to the lodgment of such applications. Details on the criteria to be met by persons lodging such applications are available from my Department's Website(www.justice.ie).

Queries in relation to the status of individual Immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility 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 this information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.