Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (587)

Jan O'Sullivan


587. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the spouse and children of a naturalised Irish citizen living in the United Kingdom and whose family joined them there through family reunification can be granted Irish citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35372/19]

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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.  It is not possible to provide a definitive response to queries such as this as the individual circumstances of each case can be different.  For example, if the children of the naturalised father were born after he became an Irish citizen, they would be eligible to apply for an Irish passport through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Irish citizens. 

On a general note applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act.  As the Deputy will appreciate, a determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria can only be made after an application is received.

In general, eligibility for a certificate of naturalisation is based either on Section 15 or Section 16 of the Act. Section 15 requires, among other conditions, that minimum periods of residency in the State are met.  These periods are reduced in respect of a spouse of an Irish national.  

Under Section 16, it is also open to make an application on the basis of Irish association. In such cases, the Minister may in his or her absolute discretion waive the conditions for naturalisation set out under the Act, including residency. The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence of Irish association to the Minister for consideration. 

Detailed information on Irish citizenship and naturalisation, including in respect of children, is available on the Immigration Service website at 

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the Immigration Service 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.