142. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the long-term residency, the eligibility for naturalisation and the renewal of a stamp 4 in the interim for a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43414/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy is currently being processed and the case will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. All non-EEA nationals are required to keep their permission to remain in the State up to date at all times and failure to do so may adversely affect an application for a certificate of naturalisation. If they have not already done so, the person concerned should apply for renewal of their permission to remain.
As the Deputy will appreciate, 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.
It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. While most cases are now generally processed within six months, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.
The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been established specifically for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.