377. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice the options available to a person (details supplied) who has difficulty providing the documentation for a naturalisation application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25387/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): 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.
All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the relevant legislative provisions. All applicants for a certificate of naturalisation must supply original passports in support of their applications due to the requirement for applicants to firmly establish their identity to the satisfaction of the Minister. The requirement to supply original, in date and valid passports applies to all applicants.
Under normal circumstances, passports are returned approximately 10 days after their receipt. However, the current limits on staff attendance in the office due to COVID-19 restrictions, has resulted in delays in the return of some passports.
Applicants are advised not to send in their application during the pandemic if they anticipate that they may have to travel at short notice. However, I fully appreciate that people may have to travel at short notice for emergency reasons. The citizenship website advises that in these circumstances, applicants should email the citizenship helpdesk firstname.lastname@example.org with the relevant details including postal tracking reference if available. Any request must be accompanied by appropriate scanned supporting material detailing the reasons for travel. Any request of this nature is dealt with promptly.