Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (732)

Bernard Durkan


732. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the procedure to be followed by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27131/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

On 18 September 2020, I announced a further temporary extension of immigration and international protection permissions to 20 January 2021. This applies to permissions that are due to expire between 20 September 2020 and 20 January 2021 and to the same 3 primary categories of persons as before: 

Those who are renewing their permission;

Those awaiting a first registration; and 

Those in the country on a short stay visa who are unable to return home due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  

This provides certainty to anyone who already holds a valid permission that their legal status in this country is maintained until 20 January 2021. Renewal is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions will continue to apply.

A person who is in a long-term relationship with an Irish citizen may be eligible to apply for De Facto Partnership permission to remain in the State. In order to apply for De Facto Partnership immigration permission, a non EEA national (the Applicant) who wishes to remain the State and is in a relationship with an Irish National or an Irish Resident (the Sponsor) must be in a position to provide documentary evidence of a durable relationship, akin to marriage, with evidence of cohabitation of at least two years on the date of application. 

De Facto Partnership applications are normally only accepted from individuals who have a valid permission to be in the State and are present in the State at the time of applying. However, due to the exceptional circumstances arising from COVID-19, the Immigration Service of my Department is accepting applications from non-EEA nationals who are De Facto partners of Irish citizens and are currently here on a visitor’s permission. All applications for residence that have a De Facto element are subject to a significant degree of verification to establish the nature of the relationship.

As a temporary measure, applications can be submitted to Unit 5 Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, Immigration Service Delivery, PO Box 12595, Dublin 2 or via email to INISdefacto@justice.ie. The application form for De Facto Partner is available on the Immigration Service website for download and completion at: www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/De%20Facto%20Relationships.

Applicants must remain in the State for the duration of their application. There is no fee for De Facto Partnership applications. The Immigration Service may grant temporary residence permission (Stamp 3) while a De Facto partner application is under consideration.

It is open to an applicant to apply under Section 16(a) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, where the applicant is of Irish descent or has Irish association. Under the legislation, a person is of Irish association if they are related by blood, affinity or adoption to, or is the civil partner of, a person (living or deceased) who is/was an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen. A civil partner of such a person may also qualify.  

In such cases, the conditions for naturalisation set out under Section 15 of the Act, including residency may be waived on a discretionary basis. The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence of Irish descent or Irish association.

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended.  All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act.