Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
317. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if views have been sought from overseas employers on the delay in processing claims for long-term residency or naturalisation; if benchmarks from competitor countries have been identified to see how Ireland rates; and if there is a case for putting extra resources into fast-tracking this process as part of a policy for a successful economic internationalisation strategy. [42183/08]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Applications received by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service are diverse in nature and processing times vary considerably according to the nature and circumstances of the scheme in question. The service has recently allocated substantial additional resources to the processing of applications for both naturalisation and long-term residency and, having regard to the many demands on the service, will keep the resource allocation under review. The service has taken this step with a view to providing an improved customer service to applicants for both schemes and, incrementally, an improvement in processing times.
The Deputy will appreciate that the scale of long-term residency and naturalisation applications and the resources dedicated to dealing with such applications differs considerably from state to state and benchmarks of the type referred to by the Deputy are therefore not easily identifiable. I remain satisfied, given the overall workload facing the organisation, that the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service is making every effort to ensure that all such applications are processed as expeditiously as possible.
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