115. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position in regard to residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22; if all documentation requested in connection with the application for naturalisation has been received by the relevant section in her Department; if it is noted that the person's spouse and all other members of the person's family are Irish citizens; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16145/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that a valid application for a certificate of naturalisation has been received from the person referred to by the Deputy, who currently has permission to reside in the State until 12 March, 2020.
The application is being processed with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence. A letter issued to the person concerned on 17 April 2015 requesting certain information, upon receipt of the requested information the case will be submitted to me for decision.
Officials in the citizenship section of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service prepare a comprehensive submission in respect of each application for naturalisation. This submission addresses any claims for the exercise of my discretion in areas such as Irish descent or Irish associations. I decide whether to grant naturalisation based on my evaluation of the merits of the entire case as presented to me.
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.
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.