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Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 364.  Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he will clarify if, in the event that an American citizen marries an Irish citizen in the USA, he or she is entitled to Irish citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6496/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter There is no entitlement to Irish citizenship by virtue of marriage to an Irish citizen under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, whether the marriage takes place in the State or in a foreign country. The spouse of an Irish citizen may attain Irish citizenship through naturalisation at the absolute discretion of the Minister. Under Section 15A of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, 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 if 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 recognised under Irish law.

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 person is of Irish associations if he or she is related by blood, affinity or adoption to, or is the civil partner of, a person who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen. An application for a certificate of naturalisation may be lodged at any time.


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