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Foreign Birth Registration

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 23 November 2021

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Ceisteanna (308)

Ruairí Ó Murchú

Ceist:

308. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 439 of 9 September 2021, the status of the application for the foreign birth registration of a person (details supplied); the expected timeframe in which this application will be processed; if the original documentation can be returned to the person given the lengthy wait; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56885/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The processing of Foreign Birth Registration applications resumed on 15th November and will be gradually scaling up in line with the recruitment of additional resources.

My Department is fully committed to allocating additional resources over the coming period to assist with the processing of the high volume of new applications anticipated and the 32,000 Foreign Birth Registration applications currently on hand. This will be a major challenge, but one that we are committed to achieving.

Foreign Birth Registration applications are citizenship applications and, as in all jurisdictions, involve a complex and lengthy process. The Passport Service has a statutory responsibility to protect the integrity of this citizenship process. Accordingly, it has to assure very careful analysis takes place across its systems to verify both the identity of the applicant and their entitlement to Irish citizenship. Experienced staff at the Passport Service provide systematic, detailed and rigorous checks of all Foreign Birth Registration applications.

The application referenced was registered on 31 January 2020 and is waiting to be processed. All documentation submitted must be retained until it can be authenticated when the application is checked for entitlement. In the meantime, it is being stored in a secure environment.

Due to the complex nature of the Foreign Birth Registration process and the pause in the Service due to necessary Covid-19 restrictions, applicants are being advised that they should allow approximately 2 years for processing of Foreign Birth Registration applications at this time.

The Foreign Birth Registration teams have worked since the pandemic began to consider all urgent requests to expedite applications on a case by case basis, for example applications from expectant parents, or stateless persons. Over 5,000 emergency Foreign Birth Registration applications have been processed in 2021. In cases of exceptional urgency FBR applicants may continue to contact the Passport Service directly.

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