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The strict and complex route to naturalisation

THE process by which a foreign national living in Ireland can apply to become an Irish citizen is called naturalisation.

Any applicant must have been living in Ireland for a number of years.

The final decision on all applications is taken by the Justice Minister who has "absolute discretion" on the matter of granting a person citizenship.

Since last November, there is a €175 charge when forms are submitted to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service based in Tipperary town.

One rule states that the person must be 18 years or older, or a minor born in the State since January 1, 2005. Also the person must be deemed of good character with a background check carried out by gardai, have been living for at least one year continuously before the application is lodged and have been present in Ireland for another four years out of the previous nine years in total.

The current waiting time for a decision on an application is 23 months.

Irish Independent