Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (917, 918, 928, 930, 937, 938)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

917. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who have lodged applications for citizenship who do not have a full and unbroken period of time here in the past year as of 17 July 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33706/19]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

918. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the way in which he plans to proceed with applications for citizenship and the resources in place to handle same following a recent ruling (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33722/19]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

928. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding persons who have an open and pending application for citizenship following a ruling on applicants made on 17 July 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33810/19]

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Catherine Martin

Question:

930. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to legislate urgently to amend the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 in light of the recent High Court judgment that applicants for citizenship must not be absent from the country for a single day in the year of application (details supplied); his further plans to instigate a more realistic regime than the prevailing six weeks of absence that was previously the standard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33855/19]

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Ruth Coppinger

Question:

937. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to introduce an amendment to legislation further to a ruling (details supplied) on section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956. [34068/19]

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Jack Chambers

Question:

938. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a recent court ruling will be clarified in the context of applications for naturalisation (details supplied); the impact of the ruling on ongoing applications; its impact on completed applications in cases in which naturalisation was granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34169/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 917, 918, 928, 930, 937 and 938 together.

I am aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts and is therefore sub-judice.

I do however, want to assure the Deputies that I am taking all appropriate steps to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. Various options to resolve the matter are under active consideration and detailed consideration of these options is underway by officials of my Department in consultation with the Attorney General's Office. The aim is to put in place a practical system that recognises that temporary absences from the State are allowed when determining the residence requirements for citizenship.

The Citizenship Division of my Department is continuing to receive and process applications. Planning for the next Citizenship Ceremony in September is also underway. The advice for people who are planning to apply for citizenship is to continue to collect all the necessary proofs that support the application and to submit a comprehensive application form. Once a solution is in place, if any additional information is required further contact will be made with the applicant.

Further updates will be posted on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) when available.