Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Ceisteanna (341, 342)

John Curran

Ceist:

481 Mr. Curran asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made regarding an application for naturalisation by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22. [25401/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

An application for permission to remain in the State based on marriage to an Irish national was received from the person concerned in September 2003. Applications of this type are dealt with in chronological order and currently take approximately 16 months to process.

John Curran

Ceist:

482 Mr. Curran asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a decision will be made regarding an application for naturalisation by a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22. [25402/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

As I informed the Deputy in response to Question No. 343 on 11 May 2004, an application for naturalisation from the person referred to was received in the citizenship section of my Department on 9 March 2004. The average processing time for an application for naturalisation is currently 24 months, primarily as a result of a significant increase in the volume of applications being received. There are over 650 staff members employed by my Department in the provision of services for or in respect of non-nationals. Unfortunately, it has been the case that over 70% of those staff are engaged full-time in activities associated with the actual processing of asylum claims or in the provision of support for asylum applicants. However, the major reduction in the numbers of asylum applicants is now giving me an opportunity to refocus those resources on areas of service provision for non nationals which are under-resourced at this point in time. Citizenship is one of the areas which will benefit from that process. It is likely that the application of the individual concerned will be finalised in or around March 2006. I will inform both the applicant and the Deputy as soon as I have reached a decision on the application.