Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (901)

Éamon Ó Cuív


901. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason his Department did not officially inform an applicant for naturalisation (details supplied) who received a letter in October 2017 informing them that it was planned to grant their application for naturalisation at a citizenship ceremony on 16 October 2017 and who paid the appropriate fee, that this was an error by his Department; the reason his Department did not refund the fee pending further consideration of the application; the further reason the processing of this application is taking so long; the third party from which information has been sought; when it was sought; the number of reminders sent by his Department seeking this information since the initial inquiries were made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33294/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, as indicated in my response to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question No. 338 of 26 June 2019, the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy continues to be processed. If further documentation is required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, 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. 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, which may be outside the direct control of INIS.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.