Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011

33.

Amendment of Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.

33.— The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 is amended—

( a) in section 2, by the insertion of the following definition:

“‘civil partner’ means a civil partner within the meaning of section 3 of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010;”,

( b) in section 15 (amended by section 8 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004)—

(i) by the substitution of the following for subsection (1)( e):

“( e) has, before a judge of the District Court in open court, in a citizenship ceremony or in such manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows—

(i) made a declaration, in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and

(ii) undertaken to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.”,

and

(ii) by the insertion of the following after subsection (3) (inserted by section 8 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004):

“(4) In this section and section 15A, ‘citizenship ceremony’ means a ceremony, held before a judge, or a retired judge, of the District Court, Circuit Court, High Court or Supreme Court, or such other person as may be designated for that purpose by the Minister, at a place and in a form approved by the Minister, at which the applicant has made the declaration and undertaking referred to in subsection (1)( e) or section 15A(1)( h).”,

( c) by the substitution of the following section for section 15A (amended by section 9 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004):

“15A.— (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 15, the Minister may, in his or her absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation to the non-national spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen if satisfied that the applicant—

( a) is of full age,

( b) is of good character,

( c) and that citizen—

(i) are married to each other, have been married to each other for a period of not less than 3 years, and are living together, as attested to by affidavit submitted by the citizen to the Minister in the prescribed form, or

(ii) are civil partners of each other, have been civil partners of each other for a period of not less than 3 years, and are living together, as attested to by affidavit submitted by the citizen to the Minister in the prescribed form,

( d) is, in the case of a spouse, in a marriage recognised under the laws of the State as subsisting,

( e) had, immediately before the date of the application, a period of one year’s continuous residence in the island of Ireland,

( f) had, during the 4 years immediately preceding that period, a total residence in the island of Ireland amounting to 2 years,

( g) intends in good faith to continue to reside in the island of Ireland after naturalisation, and

( h) has, before a judge of the District Court in open court, in a citizenship ceremony or in such manner as the Minister, for special reasons, allows—

(i) made a declaration, in the prescribed manner, of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and

(ii) undertaken to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.

(2) The Minister may, in his or her absolute discretion, waive the conditions at paragraph ( c), ( e), ( f) or ( g) of subsection (1) or any of them if satisfied that the applicant would suffer serious consequences in respect of his or her bodily integrity or liberty if not granted Irish citizenship.

(3) Paragraph ( g) of subsection (1) shall not apply to an applicant for a certificate of naturalisation to whom subsection (4) applies.

(4) Any period of residence outside the island of Ireland, during which—

( a) the applicant for a certificate of naturalisation to which this section applies was—

(i) married to and living with his or her spouse, or

(ii) in a civil partnership with and living with his or her civil partner,

and

( b) the applicant’s spouse or, as the case may be, civil partner was in the public service,

shall be reckoned as a period of residence in the island of Ireland for the purposes of calculating—

(i) continuous residence under paragraph ( e) of subsection (1), or

(ii) total residence under paragraph ( f) of that subsection.”,

( d) in section 16 (amended by section 10 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004)—

(i) by the insertion in subsection (2)( a) of “, or is the civil partner of,” after “related by blood, affinity or adoption to”, and

(ii) by the insertion in subsection (2)( b) of “, or was the civil partner of,” after “related by blood, affinity or adoption to”,

( e) by the substitution of the following section for section 17 (amended by section 12 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004):

“17.— An application for a certificate of naturalisation shall be—

( a) in the prescribed form, and

( b) accompanied by—

(i) such fee (if any) as may be prescribed, and

(ii) such evidence (including statutory declarations) to vouch the application as the Minister may require.”,

( f) in section 19(1)( e), by the substitution for “act other than marriage” of “act, other than marriage or entry into a civil partnership,”,

( g) by the substitution of the following section for section 20:

“Acquisition of citizenship by person who is married or a civil partner.

20.— Acquisition of Irish citizenship by a person shall not of itself confer Irish citizenship on his or her spouse or civil partner.”,

( h) by the substitution of the following section for section 22:

“Non-effect of death or loss of citizenship on person’s spouse, civil partner or children.

22.— (1) The death of an Irish citizen shall not affect the citizenship of his or her surviving spouse, civil partner or children.

(2) Loss of Irish citizenship by a person shall not of itself affect the citizenship of his or her spouse, civil partner or children.”,

and

( i) by the substitution of the following section for section 23 (amended by section 8 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2001):

“Marriage or civil partnership not to effect loss of citizenship.

23.— A person who marries, or enters into a civil partnership with, a non-national shall not, merely by virtue of the marriage or civil partnership, cease to be an Irish citizen, whether or not he or she acquires the nationality of the non-national.”.