Tuesday, 26 February 1991
Dáil Éireann Debate
61. Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs when applications made by a number of individuals residing abroad for Irish citizenship, under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1986, will be processed.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Collins): Under the terms of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts, 1956 and 1986, individuals residing abroad may, if so entitled, become Irish citizens by having their births registered under the foreign births registration provisions of the Acts or by lodging, in the prescribed manner, a declaration accepting Irish citizenship as their post-nuptial citizenship.
Under the foreign births registration provisions, individuals may claim an entitlement to have their births registered if they produce documentary evidence that one of their grandparents was born in Ireland. Individuals living abroad may lodge applications with the appropriate Irish diplomatic mission or consular office. Individuals who are living in countries with which Ireland does not have diplomatic or consular relations  may apply directly to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Similarly, individuals living abroad who wish to lodge a declaration of post-nuptial citizenship may do so with the appropriate Irish diplomatic mission or consular office. As in the case of applicants for foreign births registration, individual declarants living in countries with which Ireland does not have diplomatic nor consular relations may apply directly to the Department of Foreign Affairs. Such declarations must be lodged in the prescribed manner not earlier than three years from the date of the marriage or from the date when the Irish spouse became an Irish citizen, whichever is the later. The declaration must be accompanied by evidence that the marriage was subsisting at the date of the lodgment of the declaration and by an affidavit from the Irish spouse that the couple are living together as husband and wife.
Applications for registration lodged since January 1987 have been and are being dealt with on receipt except in case of the Consulate General at New York where, because of the level of applications, applications are currently taking several months to process. In addition certain applications lodged before January 1987 were received too late to process under the terms of the 1986 Act. The Department of Justice are considering a number of changes to the relevant legislation in this context.
Current applications for post-nupital citizenship are subject to some delay at present caused by the volume of applications and the introduction of more stringent regulations regarding the documentary evidence required with each application. Extra resources have recently been allocated to this area of work.
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