Government says solution is in the works regarding High Court ruling on citizenship applications
2019-08-01 12:06:38 -
By Chinedu Onyejelem

The Government says it hopes to have a bill drafted for approval in mid-September to address the recent High Court ruling that effectively keeps citizenship hopefuls within Ireland’s borders or their applications will be invalidated.

The Minister of Justice has assured current and would be applicants for naturalisation that the Government would do everything within its powers to find solution to the recent High Court judgment, which has left thousands of citizenship applicants in limbo. 

Mr Justice Max Barrett ruled in the High Court on 17 July that immigrants applying for citizenship cannot spend even one day outside of Ireland in the year they make their application, voiding the minister’s discretionary practice of allowing applicants up to six weeks out of the country.

“I know that the ruling from the High Court has caused concern and may have been unsettling for people in the citizenship process,” said Minister Charlie Flanagan, who was in Helsinki on EU business during the time of the ruling.

“I want to reassure people that my officials are carefully studying the ruling in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office. 

“This issue is being dealt with as an urgent priority and I will take any necessary action to resolve it.”
While the judgment is being appealed, the minister said his department continues to work on bringing the situation to an end as quickly as possible.

Cabinet approval has been obtained for a proposed bill “which seeks to resolve the issue that has arisen in the recent High Court judgment,” the department said in a statement. 

“The minister’s intention is to work with the Office of the Attorney General and instruct the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to have a bill drafted on an urgent basis and before the Houses of the Oireachtas for consideration in mid-September as soon as the recess ends. 

“It is intended that the citizenship ceremony scheduled to take place at the end of September will still go ahead and planning is taking place on that basis.” 

The Department is urging immigrants who are planning to apply for citizenship to collect all the required documents that support their application and “to submit a comprehensive application form”. 

“Once a solution is in place, if any additional information is required, you will be contacted as part of the processing of your application. We do not believe that this ruling has consequences for anyone who has already obtained citizenship under the act. 

“We ask for your continued patience while we put in place a solution as an urgent priority. Further updates will be posted on this website when available.” 

The department asked those who are worried about their cases to contact them via
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