The immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors were delighted to receive
another positive result recently for one of our clients in the case of
Vishteh v. Minister for Justice 2010 IEHC 131 wherein Mr Justice
Barrett granted an order of Certiorari quashing the decision of the
Minister for Justice and Equality to refuse to grant our client a
Certificate of Naturalisation.
Our client is an employee of a foreign embassy in Ireland who
submitted an application to be granted a certificate of naturalisation
in December 2016 following the decision of Mr Justice Humphreys in
Rodis v. Minister for Justice and Equality; Tolentino v. Minister for
Justice and Equality  IEHC 360. In this case the court held
that “there was nothing in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
Relations of 1961 to prevent a member of the domestic staff of a
diplomatic mission from applying for naturalisation and that it could
not be held that the legislature, when enacting the Irish Nationality
and Citizenship Act 1956, intended to permanently exclude such
persons from being naturalised”.
The case was not about the Applicant’s eligibility to apply for
naturalisation as a member of the domestic staff of a diplomatic
mission. That matter was resolved in the Rodis and Tolentino case.
Instead, the case was essentially about the proofs that are required
by a similarly situate person as Ms Rodis and Ms Tolentino when
making an application for citizenship in these unusual
During the processing of our client’s application, The Minister for
Justice requested a bespoke letter his employer embassy setting
out the Applicant’s dates of employment at the said embassy. Our
client was unable to submit this letter however instead submitted an
abundance of other documentation that was equally capable of
confirming the dates of employment and clearly evidenced our
client’s reckonable residency in the State.
The Minister for Justice subsequently proceeded to refuse our clients
application for a certificate of naturalisation stating:
“… For your client’s residence to be established as reckonable
residence, your client would be required to submit a letter from the
embassy stating the dates of employment at the embassy, the
letter must also be signed and dated by the Embassy. As your client
is unable to provide this letter, your client does not have the
required reckonable residence, therefore, your client’s application
for naturalisation has been deemed ineligible …”
In his judgement Mr Justice Barrett noted the following:
“It does not follow in logic that because Mr Vishteh cannot provide
what might be styled the ‘dates of employment’ letter, he does not
have the required reckonable residence. However wide the
discretion of the Minister in the naturalisation context, he cannot
take decisions that are, on their face, irrational. If he could, that
would allow him to proceed arbitrarily/capriciously/autocratically,
i.e. contrary to how case-law contemplates.”
The court granted the following order in favour of our client:
1. An order of certiorari quashing the Decision.
2. A declaration that where, (a) in an application made under
s.15 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as
amended by a person lawfully resident in Ireland by virtue of
his employment at a diplomatic mission, (b) it is or proves to
be impossible for such person, through no apparent fault of
his own, to provide certain evidence sought by the Minister
pursuant to s.17(b)(ii) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship
Act 1956, as amended the Minister is bound, before making a
decision pursuant to s.15, to consider the totality of the
available evidence placed before him by/for such person.
This was an excellent and welcomed decision for our client and his
family in circumstances where there was a clear error in the
Ministers decision-making process in circumstances where our client
clearly satisfied the reckonable residency requirements.
It is important to note that following on the decision of the High
Court in Rodis and Tolentino, The Diplomatic Relations
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017 was enacted (after our client
submitted his application for a Certificate of Naturalisation).
Section 9 of the Act amended the loophole arising from Rodis and
Tolentino and thereafter deemed any person who is entitled to
diplomatic immunity in the State to be ineligible for naturalisation in
The Immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors are specialists in all
aspects of immigration law. If you have any queries do not hesitate
to contact our Immigration Department today on 0035314062862
or [email protected] .