123. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the appropriate application form which a person (details supplied) requires to apply for naturalisation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9018/16]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the person referred to by the Deputy will be eighteen years of age next July it will be open to her to apply for a certificate of naturalisation using the Form 8 application, which is the appropriate application form for a certificate of naturalisation by a person of full age.
Section 15 of the Act provides that the Minister may, in her absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation provided certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. The conditions are that the applicant must:
- be of full age
- be of good character
- have had a period of one year's continuous residency in the State immediately before the date of application and, during the eight years immediately preceding that period, have had a total residence in the State amounting to four years
- intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation
- have, before a judge of the District Court in open court, in a citizenship ceremony or in such manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows:
(i) made a declaration, in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and
(ii) undertaken to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.
It is open to any individual to lodge an application for citizenship if and when they are in a position to meet the all the statutory requirements. An on-line residency calculator is available on the website www.inis.gov.ie which may be of assistance in establishing if the residency requirements are met.
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.