17 October 2023
By Tom Collins
The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD has announced that people are now able to apply for Irish Citizenship online at www.irishimmigration.ie.
The digitisation of the citizenship application process is a key milestone in the Department of Justice’s Immigration Service Delivery Modernisation Programme.
The Immigration Modernisation Programme will, over the coming years, digitise a number of currently paper-based immigration processes and introduce a portal system where individuals will be able to manage and view all aspects of their interaction with immigration services. This will improve efficiencies in the immigration system, improve the customer experience through the availability of comprehensive self service functions, improve data management and utilisation, and enhance border security capability and capacity.
The online Citizenship application service will allow potential new Irish citizens to complete their application form, upload necessary supporting documentation and pay fees online, making the application process easier and more efficient in a digital age.
It will also allow the Immigration Service to more efficiently and effectively manage applications for Citizenship, which have increased in recent years.
Minister McEntee said:
“One of my strategic priorities as Minister for Justice is to deliver a fair and balanced immigration system which is fit for the digital age. Accelerating innovation and digital transformation across the Justice sector to ensure our systems are modern, efficient and accessible is key to this.
“The new online system for Citizenship applications will provide a better public service and increase the efficiency of the application process.
“Applications for Citizenship have been rising in recent years, totalling over 17,000 in 2022 and over 16,000 to date in 2023. The digitisation of the Citizenship application process will also improve the capacity of my Department to efficiently process the growing number of applications.
“From a sustainability and customer service perspective, reducing paper based systems is a strategic objective across Government, and I am pleased that my Department is also making positive progress in that regard.”
The paper-based application will remain available to those who cannot access an online service.
Facts & Figures
|Year||Total applications received for Citizenship|
|2023 YtD||Approx. 16, 000|
- Approx. 31,000 applications are currently on hand.
- Other significant changes are also underway within the naturalisation process as the Citizenship Division examines how it can become more efficient.
- One of the improvements that has become visible recently has been the reduction in wait times for files to be registered. Last year it took on average about 7 months for a file to be acknowledged. This year it is done in a matter of weeks.
- A related improvement is that Garda vetting is now carried out earlier in the naturalisation process to help improve processing efficiency.
- To ensure older files are also progressing, Citizenship Division wrote to 13,000 applicants in May with electronic links to commence eVetting.
- When the vetting is complete, and any additional information is not awaited from an applicant, the file will be progressed towards naturalisation.
- Citizenship ceremonies were first introduced in 2011 in order to mark the occasion of the granting of citizenship in a dignified and solemn manner.
- Since Citizenship Ceremonies were first introduced, there has been a total of 171 ceremonies (including 2nd October) with 165,000 people from over 180 countries receiving their certificates of naturalisation.