Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 710 No. 3

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  137.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the reason no reference was made by him to the referral to his office on 26 January 2010 by this Deputy of a new application in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8; if this application has yet been opened or studied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22639/10]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I wish to advise the Deputy that it has not been possible due to industrial action to process certain types of correspondence sent directly to my Office. While most of the industrial action that was being taken has now been suspended, some action by the Union involved is continuing across the Civil Service. The further details supplied by the Deputy, enables my office to confirm that the correspondence he refers to falls into this category.

I regret the inconvenience that this action is causing to the public and Members of the Oireachtas and can assure the Deputy that my Department is determined to ensure that full service is restored as soon as possible. In the interim, such correspondence should be submitted to the Citizenship Division of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Heffernan House, Dundrum Road, Tipperary Town, Co. Tipperary.

  138.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the position regarding an application for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 2; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22640/10]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  A valid application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy’s Question was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in August 2007. All valid applications are dealt with in chronological order as this is deemed to be the fairest to all applicants. The average processing time from application to decision is now at 26 months. More complicated cases can at times take more than the current average, while an element of straight forward cases can be dealt with in less than that timescale. Officials in the Citizenship Division inform me that processing of the application is ongoing and the file will be submitted to me for a decision in due course.

The length of time taken to process each application should not be classified as a delay, as the length of time taken for any application to be decided is purely a function of the time taken to carry out necessary checks. There is a limit to the reduction in the processing time that can be achieved as applications for naturalisation must be processed in a way which preserves the necessary checks and balances to ensure that it is not undervalued and is only given to persons who genuinely satisfy the necessary qualifying criteria.


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