Campaign for Change

Naturalisation

The Irish citizenship application process continues to be a major source of concern for Nasc and our clients. As it stands, citizenship remains primarily a matter of ministerial discretion, with no clear guidelines on what is likely to constitute a successful application. We believe that citizenship needs to become a right, enshrined in and protected by legislation rather than a privilege granted on an ad-hoc basis by the Minister designated by the government of the day.

Click on the image to download a copy of the report

Living in Limbo

In 2011, Nasc was pleased to work with the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) in jointly researching and producing a policy paper, ‘Living in Limbo: Migrants’ Experiences of Applying for Naturalisation in Ireland’. The report, written by solicitor and barrister Catherine Cosgrave, was based on a survey of 293 Irish residents and prospective citizens. It highlighted practices which we at Nasc had been drawing attention to for years, including the rejection of citizenship applications on trivial grounds such as having penalty points on a driving licence or parking offences as well as the personal hardship caused to those caught up in this uncertain and unpredictable process.

In the six years since the publication of this report, some noteworthy progress has been made. Then Minister Alan Shatter implemented significant amount of reform in the area of citizenship, and according to the 2017 Migrant Integration Strategy, more than 100,000 persons from over 170 countries have become Irish citizens since citizenship ceremonies were introduced in 2011.

However, it remains our position that – such welcome developments notwithstanding – the continued discretionary and arbitrary nature of that process still condemns many of Ireland’s long-term residents to “life in limbo.” Ireland still lags behind other European countries and has one of the highest naturalisation fees in the world.

What is needed to remedy the situation is a complete overhaul of the current system, including:

  • A review of the €175 application fee and €950 for a certificate, this causes great difficulties in the case of families with multiple applications.
  • Clear rules and guidelines for applicants to replace the current system which is almost entirely discretionary
  • The introduction of an appeals system so as people do not have to apply multiple times
  • Special citizenship packs to include voter registration

For more on Nasc’s campaigning work on naturalisation, read here and here.

Participate! Project

Participate! is a collaborative project to promote greater participation and integration of migrant communities in Ireland. The project is being run by Nasc and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, who will be working with local migrant and community groups through the country to host events and stalls to provide information about political and civic participation in Irish life.

Events are geared towards both EU and non-EU migrants, and provide information about:

  • Applying for citizenship
  • Voter registration
  • Legal advice and information
  • Community engagement
  • Active citizenship
  • Volunteering
  • CVs and job advice
  • And much more.

We have hosted events in Cork, Limerick, one for the Roma community here in Nasc and at Africa Day Cork 2017.  There are upcoming events in Midleton and in Cork in Autumn 2017.

Participation is the key to integration and this project offers links to ways to participate in your local community and in Irish society, so that you can #MakeIrelandHome

Participate! is part of a joint EU project, which includes several partners including Migration Policy Group, the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Migrant Rights Network (UK) and Objectif (Belgium). The project is funded by the Rights, Equality & Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union and by the Open Society Foundation.

For more information about Participate! or to find out how to host an event in your area, contact info@nascireland.org