Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Ceisteanna (136)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

136. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person (details supplied) will receive a response to their application for citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46725/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is currently being considered by my Department. On completion of the necessary processing, the application will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. Should further documentation be 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. 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.

I am also aware that the recent judgment of the High Court relating to continuous residency under Section 15(1)(c) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956 (as amended) has given cause for concern. The matter remains before the courts, with the Court of Appeal reserving judgement on the appeal on 8th Oct, and the matter therefore remains sub-judice. The outcome of the appeal will have a bearing on whether or not legislation is required. Should it be necessary, I intend to introduce a Bill in the Oireachtas as soon as possible this term.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to 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 is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.