487. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when an application for naturalisation, submitted by a person (details supplied) in County Galway, will be decided; the reason for the delay in considering this application, in view of the fact that the applicant's mother was approved Irish citizenship; the financial hardship being experienced by this applicant, specifically due to the fact that she is unable to access Student Universal Support Ireland funding, pending naturalisation, and is also unable to take up work experience abroad, connected to her studies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20108/15]
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.
As the Deputy will appreciate, as well as being a significant event for the recipient, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation as provided for in law is also a major step for the State as it 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 adult applications are processed individually with a view to establishing whether the applicant meets the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation, such as good character and lawful residence. In some instances this can be established relatively quickly and in other cases completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time. I am informed that processing of this application is well advanced and the case will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible.
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.