This is the third part in a series of articles by Grace Dowling on acquiring Irish citizenship. This article explains the process of witnessing the application form to become a naturalised Irish citizen.
Once you have acquired all the proper documents and filled out your naturalization application you must go through your application with a proper witness and sign it once that’s completed. The rules for who can act as a proper witness to your application are specifically laid out in the application form itself, but typically solicitors, notary publics, and commissioners for oaths are authorised to do so.
Witnessing a naturalisation application typically takes around thirty minutes to one hour, as the solicitor must carefully look through each page of your application and supporting documents. A photocopy of each page of your passport must be certified. And any copies of documentation must be certified by the solicitor. The solicitor must also sign and date two colour passport photographs to be submitted with the rest of your pieces of evidence. The solicitor will then witness your declaration that all that you have submitted and stated is true and accurate. Our solicitors at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP would be more than happy to be of service in witnessing your application and helping ensure it’s submitted with no errors, so please contact us and book an appointment when the need arises.
Once your application has been signed and properly witnessed, you can return it to the Department of Justice together with all of your evidentiary documents and passport photographs. When submitting your application, you will be required to pay a fee of €175; unfortunately, there are no exceptions to paying this fee. Additionally, payments will only be accepted in the form of bank drafts; furthermore, the bank drafts must be drawn from an Irish bank and made payable to the “Secretary General, Department of Justice.”
After submitting your application, documents, and paying the fee, you can expect to wait around 23 months for your application to be reviewed, although that length of time may vary based on the amount of applications the Department of Justice must review. If any necessary documents are missing from your application, you will be notified by the Department of Justice and you may be given up to 28 days to provide those documents. If you fail to do so within the period of time you are given, your application may be deemed ineligible or refused.
If ultimately your application is refused, for whatever reason, there is no appeals process and you will not get a refund of any fees. That is why it is of the utmost importance to ensure that your application is filled out and witnessed properly, which we at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP would be happy to ensure. If your application is refused you may be allowed to re-apply for citizenship by naturalisation at any time, but you will need to gather up-to-date documents, fill out the application, and have it witnessed once more.
This article is a part of a series of articles published on the Fitzsimons Redmond LLP website about Irish naturalisation. The goal of these articles is to walk you through the naturalisation process.
The above is provided for information purposes and is not intended as legal advice. We, at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP, would be happy to talk to you about your application for Irish citizenship. Please contact us on 01-676 3257.
By Grace Dowling
Legal Assistant at Fitzsimons Redmond LLP