The Minister for Justice and Equality Ms Helen McEntee has announced that Citizenship ceremonies will be temporarily replaced during the COVID-19 Pandemic with a requirement for citizenship applicants to sign an affidavit declaring loyalty to the State.
Usually when a person is notified by the Minister for Justice and Equality that they have been deemed a suitable Applicant to be granted a Certificate of Irish Naturalisation, they will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony where they will swear an oath of fidelity to the Irish nation and receive their Certificate of Naturalisation – thus becoming an Irish citizen from that moment.
Whilst a small remote citizenship ceremony was held in July 2020 granting Irish citizenship to 21 Applicants, no ceremony has been held since March 2020 in light of Covid-19 restrictions.
Minister McEntee’s announcement is great news for the thousands of citizenship applicants waiting to receive their citizenship certificates to become Irish citizens.
In addition to the temporary replacement of citizenship ceremonies, eTax-clearance and eVetting is to be introduced for citizenship applicants as part of the Departments digital reform agenda to modernise the Justice Sector. It is anticipated that this introduction will reduce application processing times, which at the moment vary from approximately twelve to thirty-six months, or longer in some cases.
We understand that the changes will take effect once Minister McEntee signs a statutory instrument to the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956. Given the importance of the matter, we would hope that this will be expedited.
The immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors are experts on all Irish immigration and citizenship matters. As a government deemed essential service, we remain open throughout the Level 5 lockdown period to serve our clients, both new and existing. If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Department today on +353 1 406 2862 or firstname.lastname@example.org