Thursday, 25 October 2007
Dáil Eireann Debate
147. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if residency in Northern Ireland can be included in the calculation of the minimum required period of residency prior to applying for citizenship; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25848/07]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Brian Lenihan): Since the Deputy has not provided details of a particular case, I can only set out the position generally. The statutory requirements for naturalisation are set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. This provides that applicants for naturalisation, other than spouses of Irish citizens, must have been resident in the State for five years of the nine year period prior to the date of application. Resident in this context means residence for which the applicant had the permission of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and where such permission was not granted for the purposes of study or seeking asylum.
A foreign national married to 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 on 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 concerned must be recognised under the laws of the State as subsisting.
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