Minster for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, TD has announced a new system whereby persons applying for citizenship will be given a decision on their application within six months.
Prior to this announcement, those wishing to become Irish citizens could have expected to wait on average 26 months. Given the complex nature of application forms, 55 percent of all citizenship applications received by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service had to be returned to applicants due to their being incorrectly completed. To remedy this, new application forms will be available from June 17 on. The Minister has announced the introduction of a Citizenship Ceremony.
The Minister also intends to implement streamlined and accelerated checking procedures for certain categories of applicants and plans will be put in place to recruit a number of interns under the new Internship Programme.
The principal statutory requirements under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 for a non-national in applying for naturalisation is 5 years reckonable residence, including one year’s continuous residence immediately prior to the date of application and that the applicant is of good character.