By Staff Reporter
A total of 13,570 immigrants from across the world were naturalised in Ireland last year, according to provisional citizenship figures released by Department of Justice.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service’s (INIS) Immigration in Ireland Annual Review 2015 shows that nearly half of these new Irish citizens come from five countries – two of them fellow EU member states.
India tops the list with 1,611 becoming Irish citizens, followed by Nigeria (1,364), the Philippines (1,167), Poland (1,161) and Romania (903).
Sixteen citizenship ceremony days were held across Ireland in 2015, with the 100th since reforms of the citizenship process were introduced by then Justice Minister Alan Shatter in 2011 taking place place on 23 January last year.
“Decisions have been made in over 100,000 applications” since the 2011 changes, the reports states, while “the processing time for the vast majority of standard applications has been reduced from 31 months to less than six months, despite a significant increase in valid application volumes in the intervening period.”
As part of the celebrations for the 1848 Tricolour event in Waterford, 100 applicants from diverse backgrounds received their certificates of naturalisation at a special ceremony on Friday 4 March.
Thousands more are expected to be naturalised during a series of ceremonies at Dublin’s Convention Centre on Friday 15 April.