The Department of Justice in Ireland has recently announced some significant changes that will apply to the citizenship application process in the country. The changes involve the introduction of new passport requirements and a scorecard approach to establish identity and residency.

Under the new passport requirements, new citizenship applicants are no longer required to submit their original passport with the initial application. Instead, they can provide a full-colour copy of their passport, along with all previous passports containing stamps that contribute to their period of reckonable residency claimed. The colour copy of the passport must be certified and submitted with the application form by a solicitor, commissioner for oaths, or notary public. The certification process involves checking the front and back of the actual passport, the biometric pages containing the applicant’s photograph, and confirming that they match the corresponding pages of the colour copy provided by the applicant.

The scorecard approach involves the introduction of significant changes regarding the number of proofs required to establish an applicant’s identity and residency as part of the citizenship application process. Applicants will be required to accumulate a total of 150 points for each year of residency claimed and for establishing their identity, by submitting proofs with a predetermined point value until they reach the required score of 150 points. In case an applicant is not able to achieve 150 points, they are advised to contact the Department of Justice for further assistance.