1428. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice if a citizenship route for non-resident spouses of Irish citizens will be put in place; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19397/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended. All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Section 15A of the Act provides that, where the application is based on being the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen, the requirements include that the couple are married or civil partners to each other for a period of at least 3 years; that they are living together; and that immediately before the date of application, they have a period of one year's continuous residence in the island of Ireland and, during the preceding four years, have a further period of residence amounting to 2 years (i.e. 3 years residence in total).
It is also open to an applicant generally to apply under Section 16(a) of the 1956 Act where the applicant is of Irish descent or has Irish association. In such cases, the conditions for naturalisation set out under Section 15 of the Act, including residency, may be waived. The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence of Irish descent or Irish association to the Minister for consideration.