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Long wait to gain citizenship is cruel for doctors like me

Dr Naveed Abbas


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'I have literally poured my heart and soul into this country for nine years. And yet I am still on a waiting list' (stock photo)

'I have literally poured my heart and soul into this country for nine years. And yet I am still on a waiting list' (stock photo)

'I have literally poured my heart and soul into this country for nine years. And yet I am still on a waiting list' (stock photo)

I have now been in Ireland for over nine years. As a doctor, I am used to seeing patients on a waiting list. Often I feel intense sympathy towards these people, as all of them are waiting because something is giving them pain; physically or mentally. I know some who have been told that the date for their future appointment is in a year or two. I sometimes wonder what they think. It is excessively rare for someone to have patience for an extended period of time. A year? Or two? Goodness.

I am also on a waiting list. And I have been waiting for over three years now. I qualified to apply for Irish citizenship in 2016. It took me a whole year to dodge through the convoluted process of completing my application and after making sure that there were absolutely no mistakes, I very happily sent it across. Done - thank God that is out of the way. And I was vindicated in my smugness when, within a week of my application, all my passports were sent back to me and I was told, "Your documents are all in order". I was now in the verification stage of the process and it might take some time. That was when I was put on the waiting list. That was June 2017.


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