169. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the requirement for those that have been given refugee status declaration to provide their national passport as part of an application for citizenship through naturalisation; and if his views on same in view of the fact that international protection applicants must surrender their national passport to the International Protection Office and may not retrieve it in normal circumstances if granted refugee status. [22699/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): 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.
All persons making an application for a certificate of naturalisation are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their identity and nationality. This is usually in the form of a currently valid passport and may include other original supporting documents, such as a previously held or an out of date passport, birth certificate and marriage certificate. In cases where the applicant for a certificate of naturalisation has already submitted a passport to another area of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), the Citizenship Division of INIS will take the necessary steps to secure the passport for appropriate examination and will revert to the applicant if further clarification or documentation is required.
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.