Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Questions (143)

Neale Richmond


143. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has considered backdating entries to the foreign births register due to the delays in processing births due to Covid-19 restrictions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28556/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

My Department is responsible for citizenship by descent through the Foreign Births Register. At present, there are 30,000 applications in the Foreign Births Registration (FBR) system that are awaiting processing. It is anticipated that further resources will be allocated to this service to assist with this volume of applications when regular processing resumes. Entitlement to Irish citizenship is determined by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (“the 1956 Act”), as amended, under which Irish citizenship may be obtained by birth, by descent, or by naturalisation.The 1956 Act provides, inter alia, that persons born abroad to parents who themselves were born abroad, are eligible for entry into the Foreign Births Register (FBR) if their parents were Irish citizens at the time of the person’s birth. To change this, an amendment of the 1956 Act would be required.The Department of Justice is responsible for citizenship matters. Any amendment to the 1956 Act is a matter for the Minister for Justice.The Department of Foreign Affairs operates a clear and transparent general policy for processing FBR applications. In situations where the completion of registrations potentially impact on the rights of a person, it will consider urgent requests to expedite registered applications on a case by case basis. Such applicants are advised on the Department’s website to make contact with the Passport Service through the WebChat service.