Following the Court of Appeal judgement regarding reasonable periods of time to be absent from the State in the final year before application, a high priority of the Citizenship Division of the Immigration Service Delivery Function of the Department is to hold citizenship ceremonies for as many qualifying applicants as possible.
Accordingly, work on preparations for the next ceremonies is well underway and at this stage over 5,200 approved applicants have been issued with invites to attend. If you have received an approval letter and have undertaken the actions detailed therein and did not received an invite by Friday the 21st of February, you will be accommodated at an upcoming ceremony. The next Citizenship ceremony will be scheduled for late June/early July 2020.
The prioritising of the March ceremonies to include as many applicants as possible is taking precedence over other work. Accordingly, this will have a small impact on Customer service turnaround times as outlined below.
- The turnaround time for passport return will be extended to 20 working days;
- The turnaround time for answering emails will be extended to 20 working days; and
- The telephone helpline contact centre will be temporarily suspended on the 27th of February, 3rd and 5th of March.
Measures to improve customer service in this area continue and the role out of on-line e-payments has commenced, and will be used for future ceremonies later in the year. This will simplify matters for the customer.