No cut in fees for citizenship: No plans to introduce sliding scale says Justice Minister
2018-07-15 13:20:36 -

PHOTO CREDIT: Department of Foregin Affairs and Trade


By Chinedu Onyejelem


The Government has no plans to reduce fees associated with naturalisation, the Minister of Justice has said.


The clarification follows recent speculation by some immigrants that those who have contributed enormously to Ireland’s progress should not be made to pay the full amount – a sentiment heightened by a recent Dáil question from deputy Catherine Martin.


The Green Party TD for Dublin Rathdown asked the Minister for Justice for “the reason for the significant fee for persons to become naturalised here” and whether there are “plans to introduce a sliding scale of fees for the certificate based on an applicant’s length of stay here if the applicant is self-supporting at all stages.”


Minister Charles Flanagan responded that all applicants pay and will continue to pay the standard application fee of €175, plus €950 for the certificate of naturalisation on successful application, with a reduced fee of €200 applying in cases of a minor or where the application is made by a widow, widower or surviving civil partner of an Irish citizen.


The minister added that those who are recognised refugees and stateless persons do not have to pay for their certificate of naturalisation.

“There is no provision in the regulations for the discretionary waiver or reduction of fees, or for differing fees to apply to different nationalities, or based on length of residency,” Minister Flanagan said.


“While the operation of the Act is kept under review, there are no plans to amend the fees. The standard fees payable by an applicant are designed to reflect the effort and cost involved in processing applications for a certificate of naturalisation.”


Those costs, the minister explained, include the formal citizenship ceremonies introduced under former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, which

”have been universally well received by participants”.


Minister Flanagan added: “The ceremonies provide a sense of dignity and occasion that serves to underscore the importance to both the State and the applicant of the granting of Irish citizenship.”

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