136. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to review the policy of not granting citizenship or naturalisation to spouses of Irish citizens living abroad and who do not comply with residency requirements laid down in legislation. [11075/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The principals of citizenship are based on either the nationality of the person’s parents. Alternatively, a request for naturalisation is based on fulfilling residence requirements. The granting of citizenship carries with it, for both of the applicant and the State, a number of obligations and the criteria for the granting of Irish citizenship are set down in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.
It is a condition of the granting of Irish citizenship that a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State are made, these are solemn legal pledges which are required of the applicant before they become a citizen. These declarations are made by an applicant, having chosen to take this step in recognition of the new lives that they have built in Ireland.
It should be noted that since the introduction of Citizenship Ceremonies in 2011 almost 100,000 adults and more than 25,000 children have received their certificate of naturalisation and been granted Irish citizenship.
The Deputy may also wish to note that it is open to spouses of Irish nationals to make an application to INIS for permission to join or accompany their spouse to the State. There are currently no plans to review the existing legislative provisions in this regard.