Recently we have achieved successful outcomes in varied naturalisation applications, including individuals who entered the state as minors, and applications based on Irish association.
The Laws governing citizenship in Ireland are set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 as amended by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004. The general criteria required by s15 is that the applicant must have reckonable residence in the state for a period of one year immediately prior to the application and four years in the eight year period immediately prior to that. Naturalisation however, is a particularly interesting procedure from the aspect that under s16 of the Act the Minister does have absolute discretion to grant naturalisation it’s applicants who may not have complied with ANY of these conditions.
General Overview - Minor Applicants (including those aged up to 23)
All persons over the age of 18 must apply for Irish citizenship in their own right via Form 8.
Currently it seems it is policy that a person on stamp 2/2A under the age of 23 can use their parent’s permission to remain to support their application, provided they entered the country as a minor and part of a family unity. The procedure for calculating reckonable residence in such cases is as follows:
Periods spent in state until age of 16
· On the basis of reckonable residence of either parent provided there is evidence to show the child has been present in the state.
Between the ages of 16 and 18
· On the basis of reckonable residence of either parent provided there is evidence to show that the child has been present in the state and has been registered for that period with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.
Adult Child between the ages of 18 and 23
· On the basis of reckonable residence of either parent provided:
a) There is evidence to show that the child has been present in the state for the period in question, and
b) Has been registered for that period, and
c) Part of the reckonable residence is accrued prior to child turning 18.
In summary, once an individual has entered the state as a minor to join their family, and remained in education until date of application for citizenship, there is a strong likelihood that the application will be successful. We have achieved positive results in such circumstances.
s.16 Discretion – minor applications
Moreover, it must be noted that under s.16(b) and s.16(2) 1956 Act provides for minors of Irish descent or Irish association. It is stated:
‘the Minister may in his absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation in the following cases, although the conditions for naturalisation (or any of them) are not complied with:
b) where the applicant is a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor of Irish descent or Irish associations;
s16(2) ‘for the purposes of this section a person is of Irish associations if –
(a) He or she is related by blood, affinity or adoption to a person who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen
(b) He r she was related by blood, affinity or adoption to a person who is deceased and who, at the time of his or her death, was an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen.’
Therefore, the Minister may use his discretion to waive the statutory requirements for granting naturalisation in respect of applicant’s who are related to Irish citizens (and notably those considered entitled to Irish citizenship) by blood, affinity or adoption, even if the Irish citizen in question/entitled individual, is now deceased.
It is thus apparent that there are a vast range of circumstances which can be considered compliant with the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts. However, it must always be emphasised that the Minister’s discretionary powers also entail that ANY application may be refused if the Minister decides there are grounds proper to render a negative decision. Naturalisation decisions cannot be appealed, but applicants are enabled to reapply.
If you require any further information, or require assistance as regards these applications, please do not hesitate to contact Brophy Solicitors.