132. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality why there is a cost to register for citizenship (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43308/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Regulations 2011 (S.I. 569 of 2011) sets out the fees to be paid by an applicant for a certificate of naturalisation. An application fee of €175 is payable on application for a certificate of naturalisation and a certification fee is payable by applicants on the issue of a certificate of naturalisation. The standard certification fee is €950, while a reduced fee of €200 applies in the case of an application made on behalf of a minor or in certain cases where the application is made by a widow, widower or surviving civil partner of an Irish citizen. In the case of refugees and stateless persons the certification fee is nil.
The standard fees payable by an applicant are designed to reflect the effort and cost involved in processing applications for a certificate of naturalisation.
The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process. I might also add that following the grant of citizenship it is no longer necessary for the person concerned to register their presence in the State with the Garda National Immigration Bureau which requires the payment of a fee of €300 per registration.
The Deputy will be aware that formal citizenship ceremonies have been introduced at no extra cost to applicants. These have been universally well received by participants as the ceremonies provide a sense of dignity and occasion that serves to underscore the importance to both the State and the applicant of the granting of Irish citizenship.
All of the fees payable under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 are kept under ongoing review by my Department. However, there are no plans to reduce or abolish these fees.