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Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 206.  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 position in regard to the determination of naturalisation entitlement in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24; when their national passport and travel documents will be returned to them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3192/12]

[375]Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State in 1999 under the arrangements then in place for the non-EEA parents of Irish born children. This permission has been renewed on a regular basis and is currently valid until 21 May, 2012. I have been informed by the Garda National Immigration bureau (GNIB) that the person concerned was in possession of three valid Angolan passports when he went to register for renewal in September, 2011. Two of the Angolan passports were forwarded to the Angolan Embassy by GNIB and have been retained by them to carry out enquiries. The third passport was returned to the person concerned. I should add that a request for a name change on behalf of the person concerned, is being considered in INIS at present.

A valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person referred to by the Deputy in September, 2006 and my predecessor decided in his absolute discretion to refuse the application. The person concerned was informed of that decision in a letter issued to him in December, 2009, and re-issued in April, 2010. It is open to the person concerned to make a new application at any time.

I shouldremind the Deputy that queries in relation to the status of individual Immigration cases may be made direct to INIS by Email using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. The service enables up-to-date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek this information through the more administratively expensive Parliamentary Questions process.

 207.  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, and procedure to date, in the determination of naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3193/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Citizenship Division of 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 August, 2010. The application has been initially assessed and 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.

The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process. 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.

 208.  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, and progress and sequence of events to date, in the determination of residency and naturalisation status in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 6; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3194/12]

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. 247 of 15 December, 2011 which is set out below. The position is unchanged since then.

[376]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 in 2002 under the arrangements then in place for the non-EEA parents of Irish born children. The permission has been renewed on a regular basis and is currently valid until 22 April, 2012. An application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to was received in the Citizenship Division of INIS in June 2006. 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 him on 21 October, 2006.

Section 15 of that Act 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

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 prescribed statutory requirements. To date no new application has been received.

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.

[377]

 209.  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 procedures to date, and expectation in, the determination of residency and naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3195/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The person concerned is a failed asylum applicant. Arising from the refusal of her asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 29th September, 2008, that the then Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of her. She was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against her. In addition, she was notified of her entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in accordance with the provisions of the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006.

The person concerned submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome. In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3 (6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the a final decision is made. Once a decision has been made, this decision, and the consequences of the decision, will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned. The Deputy should note that as the person concerned has not established a right of legal residency in the State, the issue of an application for citizenship does not arise at this time.

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

 210.  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 and when naturalisation will be awarded in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3196/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I am advised by the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that an application for a certificate of naturalisation was received in October 2009 from the person referred to by the Deputy. The application is at an advanced stage of processing and will be finalised as expeditiously as possible. The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

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 [378]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.

 211.  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 and when procedures to determine naturalisation will be concluded in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3197/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Officials in the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) inform me that they can find no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy’s question.

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

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.

Section 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, provides that the Minister may, in his absolute discretion, waive some or all of the statutory conditions in certain circumstances i.e. where an applicant is of Irish descent or of Irish associations; where an applicant is a person who is a refugee within the meaning of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; or where an applicant is a Stateless person within the meaning of the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Stateless persons.

A foreign national who is married to, or is the Civil Partner of, an Irish citizen for at least three years may apply for naturalisation under section 15A of the Irish Naturalisation and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, where they have been continuously resident in the island of Ireland for the year immediately prior to the date of their application and for two out of the four years prior to that year. The marriage or civil partnership must be subsisting and recog[379]nised under Irish law. 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.

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.


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