The Department of Justice has recently announced significant changes to the citizenship application process in Ireland. These changes include new passport requirements and the implementation of a scorecard approach to verify identity and residency.
Under the new passport requirements, new applicants for citizenship are no longer required to submit their original passport with the initial application. Instead, applicants can provide a certified full-color copy of their entire passport, including all previous passports containing relevant residency stamps. The certification of the color copy can be done by a solicitor, commissioner for oaths, or notary public. The color copy should be stamped and initialed, and a short letter confirming its authenticity should be provided.
Regarding the scorecard approach, significant changes are being introduced to the number of proofs required to establish identity and residency as part of the citizenship application process. Applicants will be required to reach a score of 150 points for each year of residency claimed, by submitting proofs with a predetermined point value. Similarly, an applicant must accumulate a total of 150 points to establish their identity.
In case an applicant is unable to achieve the required 150 points, they are advised to contact the Department of Justice. Overall, these changes are expected to streamline the citizenship application process and enhance its effectiveness.