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 line with the eligibility criteria set out under the Act. A determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria attendant to naturalisation, can only be made after an application is received.
There are no provisions to apply different criteria depending on the nationality of the applicant. All applicants are required to meet minimum periods of reckonable residence and standard checks are carried out as part of the overall process to maintain its integrity.
The Act requires that, any person, prior to making an application for naturalisation, has five years reckonable residence in the State, except for spouses of Irish nationals where the requirement is three years. In both cases, the final 12 months must be continuous residence in the State with up to six weeks absence currently allowed to facilitate foreign travel for business, family or holiday purposes.
In June, when announcing the publication of the General Scheme of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021, I confirmed that the continuous residence requirement will be amended to allow for total absences of up to 70 days from the State in the year preceding the citizenship application being made and up to a further 30 days absence may also be allowed where necessitated by exceptional circumstances.
It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory conditions as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.