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For Written Answer on : 17/01/2024
Question Number(s): 1145 Question Reference(s): 1883/24
Department: Justice
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


* To ask the Minister for Justice to outline the definition of “affinity” as listed by her Department as a means of Irish association for naturalisation applicants; the number of applications received under such an association each respective year from 2019 to 2023 inclusive; the number of those applications that were successful over the same period; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.


For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 17 January, 2024.

REPLY


The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act. A determination on whether an applicant satisfies the statutory criteria for naturalisation can only be made after an application is received.

Section 15 of the Act sets out the statutory conditions that must be fulfilled for a certificate of naturalisation to be granted. Section 16(1)(a) of the Act gives the Minister discretion to waive the statutory conditions in certain circumstances, including where the applicant is of Irish descent or Irish associations (related through blood, affinity or adoption to a person who is or is entitled to be an Irish citizen).  Applications based on affinity are not recorded in the manner requested.

Officials in my Department are in the process of finalising guidelines, which will provide clarity to both applicants and decision-makers on what factors may be considered by the Minister when deciding whether to waive such naturalisation conditions under section 16(1)(a) of the Act.

These new guidelines are being developed in the interests of fair and transparent procedures and attendant decision making.  Details of the new guidelines will be made publicly available once they have been finalised.

With regard to any citizen seeking to accrue reckonable residence in the State, I can advise the Deputy that there are numerous legal immigration pathways to enter and to reside in Ireland. Details of these legal pathways can be found on my Department’s website: www.irishimmigration.ie

Finally, any person born abroad can also become an Irish citizen if one of their parents was an Irish citizen at the time of their birth, even though they were not born on the island of Ireland. Or through an Irish national grandparent born in Ireland. They may obtain Irish citizenship through registration in the Foreign Births Register which is maintained by Department of Foreign Affairs, for more information please see: https://www.dfa.ie/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth/