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Written Answers - Passport Applications

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 117.  Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  the position regarding an application for a passport in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16653/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The Passports Act, 2008 provides, among other things, that only Irish citizens are entitled to be issued with Irish passports. Each application received by the Passport Service must, therefore, demonstrate that person’s entitlement to Irish citizenship before a passport can issue. The person in question was born in Dublin on 13 April, 2010. His entitlement to Irish citizenship is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended (the Act). Section 6A of the Act provides that persons, born in the State on or after 1 January 2005, where neither parent is an Irish or British citizen or otherwise entitled to reside in the State or Northern Ireland without restriction, may claim citizenship by birth in the State (and thereby establish eligibility for an Irish passport) only where a parent has been lawfully resident in the State for three years of the four years preceding their birth.

It is the practice of this Department to seek and consider documentary proofs of Irish citizenship in all passport applications. In the case of passport applicants, born in the State on or after 1 January 2005, where neither parent is Irish, British, or otherwise entitled to reside in the State or Northern Ireland without restriction, proofs are specifically required in respect of the lawful residence in the island of Ireland of a parent to establish an entitlement to citizenship for the child.

In line with guidelines provided by Department of Justice and Equality, which is the Department responsible for immigration and citizenship, the proofs of lawful residence which are [742]accepted and considered by this Department for passport applications are immigration stamps in passports and/or the registration cards/books which are given to persons registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). These are official documents which can be objectively verified by the Department.

In the case of the person in question, two applications were made, on his behalf, to the Department in 2011. On both occasions, the evidence of immigration stamps and cards in respect of the child’s mother in the period 13 April, 2006 to 12 April, 2010 did not yield the required amount of lawful residence to demonstrate the applicant’s entitlement to Irish citizenship and thus a passport.

The Passport Service wrote to the applicant’s mother in respect of both applications to explain to her that she did not have the required amount of lawful residence that was reckonable for the purposes of section 6A of the Act to demonstrate her son’s entitlement to Irish citizenship. These letters also advised that, as her son was not an Irish citizen, a passport could not issue to him under the Passports Act 2008.


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