477. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Justice if she will consider an exemption on citizenship applications fees for long-term Irish residents that are citizens of EU and EEA member states or the UK; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27473/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): The fees in relation to applications for a certificate of naturalisation are governed by the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Regulations 2011.
All applications for a certificate of naturalisation are processed and assessed individually in accordance with the legislation. There are no provisions to apply different criteria depending on the nationality of the applicant or the length of time they have resided in the state. All applicants are required to meet minimum periods of reckonable residence and standard checks are carried out as part of the overall process to maintain its integrity.
The current application fee is €175, payable when an application for naturalisation is lodged. A certification fee is payable only when the application is successful and a certificate of naturalisation issues. The standard certification fee is set at €950, while a reduced fee of €200 applies in the case of an application made on behalf of a minor or in certain cases where the application is made by a widow, widower or surviving civil partner of an Irish citizen. In the case of recognised refugees and stateless persons, there is no certification fee.
The standard fees payable by an applicant are designed to reflect the effort and cost involved in processing applications for a certificate of naturalisation which, given the benefits involved, is quite a detailed process.
All of the fees payable under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, are kept under ongoing review by the Department. However, there are currently no plans to amend the fees.