Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (294)

Seán Haughey


294. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the circumstances in which he would invoke section 15A(2) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956; if he will consider waiving some of the conditions in the case of a Palestinian from Gaza married to an Irish citizen who is recognised as a refugee with the United Nations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37540/19]

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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. All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Section 15 of the Act sets out the conditions under which I, as Minister, may grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation. Section 15A provides that where the application is based on being the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen the requirements are, inter alia, that the couple are married or civil partners to each other for a period of at least 3 years and are living together and, immediately before the date of application, have a period of one year's continuous residence in the island of Ireland and, during the preceding four years, have a further period amounting to 2 years (i.e. 3 years in total). Under Section 15A(2) of the Act some of these conditions may be waived on a discretionary basis if satisfied that the applicant would suffer serious consequences in respect of his or her bodily integrity or liberty if not granted Irish citizenship.

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is not possible to say if someone will satisfy the criteria until such time as an application is received and examined.

Detailed information on Irish citizenship and naturalisation, along with the relevant application forms and guidance notes, is available on the Immigration Service website at ww.inis.gov.ie.