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Written Answers. - Passport Applications.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 358. Ms Shortall Information on Róisín Shortall Zoom on Róisín Shortall  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  the reason it is necessary for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 to bring their Irish spouse when they attend at Harcourt Street Garda station to have their passport stamped, in view of the fact that they have been resident here for 18 years; if he will reform this process to eradicate gross bureaucracy as in this case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24295/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell At the outset, I should say that the person in question, being a person who has been married to an Irish citizen for more than three years, is entitled to Irish citizenship on the basis of marriage provided he is living with her as husband and wife. Irish citizens are not subject to immigration control. Furthermore, it is open to any person who has been legally resident in the State for more than ten years to apply to the immigration and citizenship division of my Department for permission to remain in the State without condition as to time. This obviates the necessity for renewal of permission to remain at Garda registration offices.

Subject to certain exceptions, every non-EEA national is required by law to register with the Garda Síochána. Upon registration he or she is issued with a Garda registration certificate. The [1123] information available to me is that the person recently presented at a Garda registration office for an extension of his permission to remain. He was, however, unable to produce his Garda registration certificate as evidence of his compliance with immigration law up to that time. Notwithstanding that, his permission to remain was extended up to the expiry date of his current national passport and he was issued with a new Garda registration certificate.

It is not a requirement of Irish immigration law that every non-EEA national be accompanied by his or her Irish spouse for the purposes of registration on the basis of marriage to an Irish national. However, there is an obligation on registration officers to satisfy themselves as to the circumstances of any particular person and further information may be sought by the registration officer having regard to the circumstances of any particular case.

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