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Citizen application process to be speeded up

Changes include a simplified application form which will be available online before the weekend and a formal ceremony for successful applicants.

File photo: Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.
File photo: Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.
Image: : Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

BECOMING AN IRISH citizen is to be fast-tracked so that the waiting time will be cut to six months, instead of the two years it has taken in the past.

Changes include a simplified application form which will be available online before the weekend and a formal ceremony for successful applicants.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said that since the new Coalition government came to power, some 5,578 citizenship applications have already been dealt.

He said:

It is entirely inappropriate, and completely out of step with other jurisdictions, that people wishing to become Irish citizens should be expected to wait an average of 25 months for a decision on their application. Under the new system, save in exceptional circumstances, persons applying for citizenship will be given a decision on their application within six months.

New simplified application forms will be available online at www.inis.gov.ie.

The first formal citizenship ceremony is due to place in Dublin Castle on 24 June where Justice Bryan McMahon, retired judge of the High Court, will be the presiding officer.

Mr Shatter said he also plans to  recruit  interns under the new Internship Programme announced in the Government’s Jobs Initiative to
help process applications.

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