Average waiting time for citizenship applications now 22 months
Waiting times for Irish citizenship applications remain high with an average processing time of 22 months, according to new figures.
This represents a slight improvement on 2021, when the average processing time was 23 months, but is more than three times the average of seven months five years ago, in 2017.
The backlog in applications was exacerbated by but predates the Covid-19 pandemic, as the High Court’s ruling in Jones v Minister for Justice and Equality  IEHC 519 — later successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal — led to the loss of six months’ processing time.
A total of 7,967 applications have been decided in 2022 so far. There were 11,512 applications decided in 2021.
Helen McEntee, the justice minister, said she was “deeply conscious of how important the granting of naturalisation is to those who apply for it”.
“A significant effort has been made by my Department to issue decisions on the oldest applications in the system,” she added.