RIAZ MOVED to Ireland with his wife and four children 15 years ago. They applied for asylum on arrival and, after three years, were granted humanitarian leave to remain.
He and his wife first applied for citizenship in 2005.
Their applications were refused two years later on the basis that they apparently did not fulfil the five years’ residence criteria when they applied.
They had no clear right to appeal so they simply reapplied in 2008.
Three years later, they have no idea what stage their applications are at and are still waiting for a decision. They would have liked to apply for their minor children to become citizens at the same time but they cannot do so until their own applications are approved.
Their two older children applied as soon as they turned 18 and are also waiting for decisions.
Waiting for the decision has made life extremely difficult for his children when seeking third-level education.
Although they have completed their primary and secondary education in Ireland, they are only eligible to attend university if they pay the fees that would be paid by EU students – and only on this basis if the college decides to waive the even higher international student fees.
* JUDITH IS Australian and has been working in Ireland for six years. She intends to apply for long-term residence and citizenship as soon as she can but isn’t yet able to do so.
There have been delays in processing her work permits every year, which have prevented her from renewing her residence permits on time. Therefore, there are gaps in her “reckonable residence”.
Every time she goes to the Garda National Immigration Bureau to renew her residence permit, she is concerned about what will happen. The last time she went to renew her permit, she brought all the specified documents but the bureau refused to renew the permit because she didn’t have a letter from her employer, although this was not on the list of required documents that she was given.
Judith said she left the building, went for a coffee, returned an hour later and her permit was renewed without delay by a different officer.
Judith finds the system confusing. She says it is very difficult to find reliable information from officials about what is actually required for any application.
(Source: Immigrant Council of Ireland)