More than 4,000 immigrants on Tuesday became citizens of the Republic of Ireland. Street Journal’s findings have revealed that naturalization process has undergone series of changes.
Statistics show that 23,400 citizenship applications were granted in 2012 compared to 3,117 in 2008 and currently, 95% of all valid applications are now approved.
Since coming into office, the Minister has made a decision to grant citizenship in almost 48,000 cases
Ireland’s citizenship process has been comprehensively reformed since 2008, the year on which the statistical data contained in Immigrant Council of Ireland’s report is based. The report, while reflecting the situation which existed in 2008, does not take into account the changes to citizenship processes which have been made since and therefore cannot be presented as representative of the current position in 2013.
The Report uses figures from 2008 as the basis for its analysis. In that year a total of 3,117 certificates of naturalization were granted. The corresponding figure for 2012 was almost 23,400. This represents an increase of 650% in the numbers granted. In addition, picking 2008 figures for the analysis meant that many of those immigrants who would have come to Ireland within a short period of time before 2008 would not be in a position to qualify for citizenship as they needed to be in the State for 5 years. This would further distort the findings in the report. Accordingly, drawing conclusions from 2008 data and applying them to the current position when there has been such as sea shift in the figures makes the process virtually irrelevant.
Alan Shatter TD, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence disclosed that “as well as measures to overhaul and speed up the processing of citizenship applications I have also introduced citizenship ceremonies which provide a sense of occasion that serves to underscore the importance to both the State and the applicant of the granting of Irish citizenship”.
He also stated that “since coming into office I have made decision on over 56,000 applications and 80% of citizenship cases are decided within 6 months compared to 2-3 years back in 2008. The real story of citizenship since this Government came into office is witnessed through the many thousands who have become Irish citizens in recent years. I am surprised and disappointed at the stark omission of such facts from the Immigrant Council’s report”.