Children who are born abroad to parents who are naturalised Irish citizens are entitled to register on the Irish Foreign Birth Register in order to become Irish citizens.
Applications for Foreign Birth Registration are processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Since the Covid-19 pandemic took effect in March 2020, the processing of applications for Foreign Birth Registration has been suspended on numerous occasions since. At present, the processing of all applications remains suspended and there has been no indication to date from the Department of Foreign Affairs as to when processing will recommence.
There are currently thousands of children born abroad to naturalised Irish citizens who are waiting for their applications for Foreign Birth Registration to be processed. Sinnott Solicitors are aware of many children who are currently stuck in war torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria to name but a few, who are prevented from travelling to Ireland until such a time as their applications for Foreign Birth Registration are processed and they are able to apply for Irish passports. Whilst the DFA website indicates a processing time of 12-18 months for applications for Foreign Birth Registration this is not correct in reality, and many applicants are waiting for over two years at this juncture with no sign of a decision on their applications in sight.
Thousands of families remain separated and unable to reunite due to these excessive and absolutely unnecessary delays. In addition to this, persons in such circumstances were until the 20th of May, unable to submit applications for Long Stay Visas to enter Ireland as an alternative due to the suspension of visa processing. Thankfully this suspension has finally been lifted for certain categories of Applicants (read more about the lifting of restrictions and Sinnott Solicitors contribution to this here), however it does not change the fact that thousands of families remain separated due to delays in the processing of applications for Foreign Birth Registration for children.
The Immigration Team at Sinnott Solicitors in Dublin and Cork have received numerous queries from persons over recent weeks who are waiting for applications for Foreign Birth Registration for their children to be processed. We submit that the cessation of processing of Foreign Birth Registrations for children born abroad to naturalised Irish citizens as well as the delays in processing is unlawful. We submit that there may be substantial grounds in many cases to argue that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is under a positive obligation to facilitate the registration of children on the Foreign Birth Register within a reasonable period, and that the Minister is therefore in breach of his obligation at present.
If you have submitted an application for Foreign Birth registration for your children and are waiting for the processing of same, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration department in Cork or Dublin today on 014062862/0212028080 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the matter further.