Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (520)

Clare Daly

Question:

520. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is provision for one or more of the conditions for naturalisation, such as for two of the five years' reckonable residence requirement, to be waived in the case of a person with subsidiary protection status. [13373/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.

Section 15 of the Act provides that the Minister may grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions as set out in the Act are fulfilled. The statutory conditions include that the applicant must have had one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a further total residence in the State amounting to four years.

Periods of residence in the State in the asylum process while awaiting a decision on subsidiary protection are not reckonable for naturalisation purposes. Section 16 of the Act provides the power to the Minister to waive some or all of the statutory conditions in the certain cases as set out in that section. However, there is no statutory provision for the exercise of such discretion in the case of persons granted subsidiary protection.

Every application for a certificate of naturalisation is considered on its own merits having regard to the statutory conditions set out in the Act. Detailed information on Irish citizenship and naturalisation, as well as the relevant application forms, is available on the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie. The website also contains guidance on the completion of an application for naturalisation.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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 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.