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Citizenship Applications

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 2 March 2022

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Questions (152)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

152. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Justice the status of a citizenship application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11907/22]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The application of the person referred is currently being processed with a view to establishing whether they meet the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation and will be submitted to me for decision when processing is complete.

The Citizenship Division of the Immigration Service of my Department has requested documents  from the solicitor acting on behalf of the person referred to by the Deputy. On receipt of this documentation the application will be processed further.

During this time, it is important that the person maintains their immigration permission and takes all appropriate steps to renew their permission to be in the State.

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. However, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time. 

My Department is taking a number of steps to speed up the processing of applications and a number of digitisation measures have also been introduced to increase efficiency in the process, including eTax clearance, eVetting and online payments. The end result of the digitisation process will be to free up more staff to focus on processing applications in a timely and efficient manner, to improve service to our customers and reduce waiting times.

Last year, my Department made 11,512 citizenship decisions, which is the highest level since 2015.  Additional staff have also been assigned to the citizenship team.  Based on these measures, my Department's objective is to achieve an improved timeframe of 6-9 months for decisions on a majority of applications during 2022. 

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