Written Answers - Citizenship Applications

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 710 No. 3

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  158.  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 progress to date in respect of an application for citizenship in the case of persons (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22662/10]

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 April 2008. 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. However, I understand that the person concerned is a refugee. In accordance with the Government’s obligations under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, every effort is made to ensure that applications from persons with refugee status are dealt with as quickly as possible. Officials in the Citizenship Division inform me that further 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.

[760]In the absence of more specific details in relation to the brother of the person referred to in the Deputy’s Question, I regret that it is not possible to provide information in respect of that person. If the Deputy wishes to re-submit his Question with a relevant reference number, I would be happy to provide the requested information.

  159.  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 progress made to date in an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22663/10]

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 September 2008. 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.

However, I understand that the person concerned is a refugee. In accordance with the Government’s obligations under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, every effort is made to ensure that applications from persons with refugee status are dealt with as quickly as possible. Officials in the Citizenship Division inform me that further 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. My officials inform me that, based on the limited information available, there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation in respect of the wife or child of the person concerned.

  160.  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   when an application for citizenship is likely to be completed in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 7; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22664/10]

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 November 2006. 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 [761]necessary checks and balances to ensure that it is not undervalued and is only given to persons who genuinely satisfy the necessary qualifying criteria.

  161.  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 progress and sequence of events to date in the determination of residency and citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22665/10]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I wish to inform the Deputy that the person in question has current permission to remain in the State. This permission was initially granted in 2000 under the scheme then in place for the non-EEA parents of Irish born children and has been renewed on a number of occasions since then. His current permission to remain expires on 3rd December, 2010.

A valid application for a certificate of naturalisation was received from the person in question in the Citizenship Division of my Department in January 2007 and I decided in my absolute discretion not to grant a certificate of naturalisation. The person in question was informed of this decision and the reasons for refusal in a letter issued to him on 15 October, 2009. It is open to the person in question to lodge a new application for a certificate of naturalisation with the Citizenship Division of my Department at any time. However, he should bear in mind the reasons for refusal of his previous application.

  162.  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   if he will set out the progress and sequence of events to date in the determination of residency and citizenship or other in the case of persons (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22666/10]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  The person concerned applied for asylum on 16 April 2003. In accordance with Section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the person concerned was entitled to remain in the State until his application for asylum was decided. His asylum application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Subsequently, in accordance with Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was informed, by letter dated 16 August 2005, that the Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of him. He was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why he should not have a Deportation Order made against him. Representations were submitted on behalf of the person concerned at that time.

Following consideration of these representations, under Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement, it was decided not to issue a Deportation Order in respect of the person concerned. Instead, he was granted Leave to Remain in the State for the period to 20 March 2010. This decision was conveyed in writing to the person concerned by letter dated 21 October 2009. The person concerned is required to apply in writing for the renewal of this permission. As my Department’s records show no evidence of such a renewal application having been made to date, it is recommended that the person concerned should do so without further delay.


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