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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1248-1265
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Visa Applications
 Header Item Citizenship Applications
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Departmental Bodies
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Issues
 Header Item Citizenship Applications
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Garda Deployment
 Header Item Residency Permits
 Header Item Naturalisation Applications
 Header Item Citizenship Applications
 Header Item Citizenship Applications
 Header Item Personal Insolvency Act

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 1248-1265

Naturalisation Applications

 1248. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if, based on residency status, a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1 is eligible for naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38568/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Section 15 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. The conditions are that the applicant must - be of full age; be of good character; have had a period of one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years; intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation; have, before a judge of the District Court in open court, in a citizenship ceremony or in such manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows—

(i) made a declaration, in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and

(ii) undertaken to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.

  In the context of naturalisation, certain periods of residence in the State are excluded. These include - periods of residence in respect of which an applicant does not have permission to remain in the State; periods granted for the purposes of study periods granted for the purposes of seeking recognition as a refugee within the meaning of the Refugee Act, 1996.

  It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended. The on-line Naturalisation Residency Calculator available on the INIS web-site at www.inis.gov.ie   can be used as a guide to whether an individual satisfies the naturalisation residency conditions and, if not, give an indication of how long they should wait before making an application.

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

Naturalisation Applications

 1249. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if, based on residency status, a person (details supplied) in County Dublin is eligible for naturalisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38571/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The person concerned has been granted Leave to Remain in the State for the period to 4 September 2015. This decision was conveyed in writing to the person concerned by letter dated 4 September 2012. Section 15 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. The conditions are that the applicant must - be of full age; be of good character; have had a period of one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years; intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation; have, before a judge of the District Court in open court, in a citizenship ceremony or in such manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows—

(i) made a declaration, in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and

(ii) undertaken to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.

  In the context of naturalisation, certain periods of residence in the State are excluded. These include - periods of residence in respect of which an applicant does not have permission to remain in the State; periods granted for the purposes of study periods granted for the purposes of seeking recognition as a refugee within the meaning of the Refugee Act, 1996.

  It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended. The on-line Naturalisation Residency Calculator available on the INIS web-site at www.inis.gov.ie   can be used as a guide to whether an individual satisfies the naturalisation residency conditions and, if not, give an indication of how long they should wait before making an application.

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

Visa Applications

 1250. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the progress made to date made in respect of updating stamp 4 in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38633/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The person concerned was granted Leave to Remain in the State for the period to 13 September 2012. This decision was conveyed in writing to the person concerned by letter dated 13 September 2011. The person concerned is required to apply in writing for the renewal of this permission. The Department's records show no record of such a renewal application having been made to date and it is recommended that the person concerned should apply without further delay.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS 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.

Citizenship Applications

 1251. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38635/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Deputy will be aware that an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy was received in the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) in September, 2009 and I decided to refuse the application. The person concerned was informed of this and the reasons for it in a letter issued on 3 July, 2012. The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended, provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. One such condition is that I must be satisfied that the applicant is of good character.

It would be inappropriate for me to indicate how specific offences will be considered in any future application as each application is considered on its merits based on the entirety of the case presented. I can inform the Deputy that I am concerned to ensure that the threshold of what constitutes good character is, taking all things into account, maintained at an appropriate level and as such is fair to all applicants having regard to their particular circumstances.

Naturalisation Applications

 1252. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the current and or-expected status and entitlement thereto in respect of naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38636/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's Question was received in the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) in July 2012. On examination of the application submitted it was determined that the person in question did not meet the statutory residency requirements as set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. The person concerned was informed of this in a letter issued to her on 27 August, 2012.

  It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the prescribed statutory requirements. The on-line Naturalisation Residency Calculator available on the INIS web-site at www.inis.gov.ie can be used as a guide to whether an individual satisfies the naturalisation residency conditions and, if not, give an indication of how long they should wait before making an application.

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

Departmental Bodies

 1253. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will list the members of the Parole Board in 2011 and the bodies that they represent; if he will detail the payments made to each member broken down by fees, allowances and expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38640/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Details on membership in 2011 are set out in the Board's Annual Report for last year which I published recently and is available on my Department's website at www.justice.ie. At the same time, I announced four appointments, all of whom have a diverse wealth of experience and knowledge which they will bring to their roles. That experience is outlined fully in the biographical details of each individual supplied in the press release accompanying the report's publication. Bodies represented on the Board in an ex-officio capacity include my Department, the Irish Prison Service and the Probation Service.

  The chairman is paid a fee of €11,970 per annum. In addition to an annual fee of €7,695, members are paid a per diem fee of €149.75 per prison interview for conducting prisoner interviews. An annual fee has not been paid to ex-officio members since 1st November, 2011. Travel and subsistence payments are made in accordance with civil service guidelines.

  The total amount paid in 2011 was €115,039 broken down as follows:-

Fees €85,928
Per Diem €7,188
Travel & Subsistence €21,923.


Of the individuals concerned, the highest payment to any member was €14,560.47.

Proposed Legislation

 1254. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter in view of his decision to establish the Parole Board on a statutory basis in 2011, the date on which the heads of the parole board Bill will be published; if he intends to have a further consultation period before bringing forward such a Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38641/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I announced my intention last year to enact legislation to place the interim Parole Board on a statutory footing which I believe will help to strengthen the Board and improve its functions. As I said before, my Department is currently considering exactly what role a statutory Parole Board should play, what powers it should have, and the implications of same with a view to preparing the Heads of a Bill. I do not have a date as yet but it is intended that the Heads, when finalised, will be forwarded to the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality for its consideration.

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Issues

 1255. Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will give approval for DNA testing on recent skull and bone finds off the coast of County Wexford in view of the fact that these finds are in the vicinity of Hook Head where there were a number of fisherman fatalities in 2007; if he will allow the test to proceed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38642/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am informed by the Garda authorities that during the last three years, there have been a number of human bone and skull finds off the Coast of County Wexford and Waterford. Enquires to establish the identity of the human remains referred to by the Deputy have not yielded any positive results to date and consideration is now being afforded by the Garda authorities to having nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis conducted on the remains concerned.

  Question No. 1256 answered with Question No. 1156.

  Question No. 1257 answered with Question No. 1157.

Citizenship Applications

 1258. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 24 June 2010, and further to the awarding of citizenship to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare, if their 13 year old child can join them or apply in their own right; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38727/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter An application for a Certificate of Naturalisation may be made by a naturalised parent on behalf of their minor child. However, the child should generally have three or more years residency in the State prior to the date of application.

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

Residency Permits

 1259. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if stamp 2 visa will be granted in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38728/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person mentioned by the Deputy entered the State on 8 December 2006 and was registered as a student in the State from 21 December 2006 to 13 June 2012. A student who first entered the State or commenced their studies after 31 December 2004 is subject to the conditions of the New Regime for full time non-EEA students, which was published in September 2010 and has been in effect since 1 January 2011. It is available on the INIS website: www.inis.gov.ie. This policy stipulates that non-EEA nationals may reside in Ireland as students, subject to the provisions of the new regime, for a maximum aggregate period of seven years. A student is responsible for managing their studies to ensure compliance with this time limit.

  This aggregate period may consist of periods of study on language or non-degree level courses as well as degree level courses. However, it is a condition of the new regime that the maximum time a student may stay in Ireland for the purpose of attending courses at Language or non degree level is limited to 3 years. In line with the new regime, it is permissible for students who come to Ireland on a language or non-degree programme course to enrol on a course on the degree programme but subject to the overall limit of 7 years not being exceeded. Courses under this programme must be listed on the Internationalisation Register. The person in question has exceeded the maximum 3 year period that a non EEA national is permitted to remain in the State to pursue a course of studies at language and non degree level.

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

Garda Deployment

 1260. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter when the Garda who retired recently will be replaced at Waterville station, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38749/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Deputy will be aware that the Commissioner is responsible for the detailed allocation of resources, including personnel, throughout the organisation and I have no direct function in the matter. This allocation of resources is constantly monitored in the context of crime trends, policing needs and other operational strategies in place on a District, Divisional and Regional level to ensure optimum use is made of Garda resources and the best possible Garda service is provided to the public. Waterville is in the Cahirciveen Garda District and as of 31st July 2012, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 38 Gardai assigned to the District.

Residency Permits

 1261. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the procedure to be followed in the case of a person (details supplied) and their children to regularise their residency, update their stamp 4 and prepare to apply for naturalisation in view of the fact that they are an EU national, holding an alien’s passport; the procedures to be followed to achieve a satisfactory solution in this instance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38753/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I refer the deputy to my reply to parliamentary Question No. 627 of 11 January, 2012 which is set out below.

  I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that the person referred to by the Deputy was granted permission to remain in the State for one year in 2000 under the arrangements then in place for the non-EEA parents of Irish born children. This permission was renewed subsequently and the last renewal period was valid to 1 September 2008, the expiry date on her Latvian aliens passport.

  In light of her current circumstances and given that her previous registration had lapsed for over 12 months, the person concerned cannot have her period of registration renewed without having obtained a formal renewal decision letter from my Department. Accordingly, the person concerned should now make a formal written renewal request to my Department, c/o the Irish Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INIS), PO Box 10003, Dublin 1. Upon receipt of such renewal application, the case of the person concerned will be examined by the relevant officials in my Department. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

  I am informed that an application was received in INIS by her solicitor to regularise her status in the State on 23 August, 2012. This application is currently being examined by the relevant officials in INIS and a decision will be communicated to her shortly.

  Applications were submitted for a Certificate of Naturalisation by the person concerned and her two children, one of whom was a minor, in August 2005. My predecessor, at his absolute discretion, decided to refuse the applications. The applicants were informed of the Minister's decision and the reasons for the decision in letters issued to them in 2009. Judicial Review proceedings were initiated in the High Court challenging the decisions. As these proceedings are ongoing, the matter is sub judice and it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on this case at this time.

  Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS 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.

Naturalisation Applications

 1262. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter the position regarding residency or naturalisation in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Cork and their spouse and family who have been here for the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38774/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter There is currently no application pending in my Department for residency or naturalisation in the case of the persons whose details were supplied. If an application for asylum has been made by the persons concerned the Deputy will of course be aware that it is not the practice to comment on asylum applications that are pending.

Citizenship Applications

 1263. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter if he will review the application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare who made their application in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38775/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's question. It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended. The on-line Naturalisation Residency Calculator available on the INIS web-site at www.inis.gov.ie  can be used as a guide to whether an individual satisfies the naturalisation residency conditions and, if not, give an indication of how long they should wait before making an application.

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

Citizenship Applications

 1264. Deputy Peter Mathews Information on Peter Mathews Zoom on Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter further to Parliamentary Question No. 200 of 22 September 2011, the progress that has been made on this application; when a decision will issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38790/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy in September, 2008. The application is currently being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. While good progress continues to be made in reducing the large volume of cases on hands, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that for a broad range of reasons some cases will take longer than others to process.

It is a statutory requirement that, inter alia, applicants for naturalisation be of good character. In some instances that can be established relatively quickly and in other cases completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time. I can, however, inform the Deputy that enormous progress has been made in dealing with the backlog and steps are being taken to process all outstanding applications and to have made significant inroads into them by the end of this year.

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

Personal Insolvency Act

 1265. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter his views on issues raised by a person on behalf of the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38834/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The precise details in regard to the regulation of personal insolvency practitioners require further consideration in the final development of the Personal Insolvency Bill 2012 in consultation with the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and relevant professional bodies. I will be bringing forward detailed proposals by way of amendments to the Bill during its passage through the Oireachtas. I can assure the Deputy that no decisions have been taken as to who may be licensed as personal insolvency practitioners.


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