Many of our clients are currently experiencing considerable delays in the processing and determination of their applications for Irish citizenship.
On 8th October 2020, Danny Healy-Rae TD put a parliamentary question to the Minister for Justice, asking her to confirm the current waiting time for the processing of citizenship applications, as well as the measures being taken to deal with the backlog of applications.
In response to this question the Minister stated as follows:
“The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation under the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements, not only within the State but also at European Union as well as international level. It is therefore important that appropriate procedures are in place to ensure that the integrity of the regime for granting Irish citizenship through the naturalisation process is held in high regard both at home and internationally. Our procedures are continually evolving including through service improvements due to the introduction of new technology and updated work practices.
In general, it takes around 12 months for a standard application to be processed from the date it is received to the date a decision is made. However, the nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. Completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.
A legal challenge was taken in the High Court last year by an applicant who was refused a certificate of naturalisation due to his absences from the State during the last year continuous prior to the date of his application. The outcome of this ruling – which was subsequently successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal – resulted in significant delays to the processing of naturalisation applications last year. In addition, the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have regrettably resulted in significant challenges to the delivery of normal services.”
The question put to the Minister and the answer given can be read in full here.
We are aware of an increasing number of applicants who have been waiting more than two years on the determination of their application, and in some cases as long as four years.
We understand that such long and continued delays are very frustrating for many people.
If you or a family member have queries about the delay in the processing of your application, we encourage you to contact our office.