Thursday, 21 November 2019

Ceisteanna (107, 108)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

107. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when legislation will be brought forward to resolve the High Court ruling that placed a ban on all travel for applicants for citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48387/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

108. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps being taken to expedite citizenship applications in view of the excessive delays faced by applicants. [48388/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 107 and 108 together.

The Deputy will recall that I obtained Government approval to introduce legislation if required and depending on the outcome of an appeal to the Court of Appeal.  The Court handed down its decision on Thursday, 14 November and, while my officials and I will need to study the judgement in its entirety over the coming days, I very much welcome the decision of the Court with regard to citizenship applications.

I know that the past few months have been quite stressful for applicants, their families and their friends .  I am satisfied however, that the Court has provided legal clarity, and the decision has upheld the lawfulness of our residency rules governing citizenship through naturalisation.   

The processing of applications continued throughout the period in which the appeal decision was awaited. My Department also continued to accept new applications during this time.  I have directed my officials to do everything possible to arrange that a Citizenship Ceremony take place on 9th December and for further ceremonies to take place early in 2020.

Information will be provided to applicants, with as much notice as possible, in advance of the ceremonies to allow them to make any necessary arrangements. Details will be published on my Departments website over the coming weeks.