105. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an application for citizenship and supporting documentation, including original passport, birth certificate and public services card, in the case of a person (details supplied), which was sent on 12 December 2018, has been received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7286/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): 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 has been received, however it was not accompanied by the prescribed application fee.
A letter issued to the person concerned on 8 February 2019, returning the original documents and requesting the fee and certain other documentation and a reply is awaited. Upon receipt of the prescribed fee and requested documentation the case will be further processed.
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 straightforward cases are now 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.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established 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 the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.