Immigrants less likely to become Irish citizens

Monday 29 July 2013 16.52
Just 13% of immigrants have become full Irish citizens
Just 13% of immigrants have become full Irish citizens

Research has found that immigrants in Ireland are far less likely to become citizens than those in other European countries.

Bureaucracy has been identified as one of the barriers to people being awarded citizenship.

In a new study of 15 European countries, more than one in three immigrants were found to have become citizens.

In total, 34% of immigrants were found to have taken on the citizenship of their adopted homeland, according to the research published by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

But in Ireland the figure was far lower.

Only 13% of immigrants who arrived in Ireland were found to have become Irish citizens, placing Ireland second from the bottom of the 15 countries surveyed and just above Luxembourg.

Bureaucracy, ministerial discretion and vagueness were just three of the factors blamed for Ireland's lower rate of new immigrant citizenship.

The absolute discretion of the Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter in deciding who is conferred with citizenship has created a lack of transparency, according to the council.

It said Ireland had a lot of work to do to meet the standard set down across Europe.

Immigrant Council of Ireland Chief Executive Denise Charlton said: "This is a substantial body of research which has important lessons for Ireland.

"Our low rate of citizenship has implications in terms of integration and the economy."

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