Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (247)

Joan Burton


247. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the timeline for the passing into law of the proposed Bill to address the recent High Court ruling that foreign nationals applying to become Irish citizens on the basis of their residence require a one-year period of residence here that is unbroken, uninterrupted and connected throughout in space or time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46278/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

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. We await an outcome from the Court of Appeal and the outcome of the appeal will, of course, have a bearing on whether or not legislation is required. Should it be necessary, I intend to introduce a Bill in the Oireachtas as soon as possible this term.

My Department is doing everything possible to develop a legislative solution. At the end of July, I obtained Cabinet approval for a proposed Bill to address the matter and my Department continues to work with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General’s Office to finalise the draft Bill.

I know that colleagues of all parties are concerned with the difficulty that has arisen and I am hopeful that the Oireachtas will give the Bill early and positive consideration.

As soon as the legal issues are resolved, my officials will make all necessary arrangements for the next Citizenship Ceremony. Invitations will issue four weeks in advance of the ceremony to ensure everyone has adequate notice.

In the interim, my Department is advising those who are planning to apply for citizenship to continue to collect all of the necessary proofs that support their application and to submit a comprehensive application form. Once a solution is in place, if any additional information is required, applicants will be contacted as part of the processing of their application.