Reckonable Residency – Practical Problems (January 2011)

Our immigration team recently looked at some of the problems our cases are coming up against with establishing the required period of reckonable residency. 
Many of our clients have been residing in the State for over five years under Stamp 4 conditions or under work permit conditions.  For one reason or another, they may have ‘gaps’ in their reckonable residency as recorded on their passports.  This may be due to a delay at their local GNIB office.  This week we reviewed several cases whereby the client was refused an application as they were not registered as having the requisite reckonable residency despite having been granted permission to remain in Ireland for 5 years by the Minister. Confused?  
An example worth referring to is that of citizenship.  Our client ‘A’ must be resident in Ireland legally for 60 months at the date of submission of his citizenship application.  He has resided under Stamp 4 for 5 years now and decides he wants to be Irish.  But the application is refused.  ‘A’, according to the officials in the Citizenship Section, has 59 months as recorded by the GNIB and evidenced in the stamps in his passport.  It’s not a huge deal for ‘A’ as he can resubmit his application immediately to show he fits the 60 month criteria. 
However,  bigger problems are created as a result of how the State calculates one’s reckonable residency.  If I were granted permission to remain by the Minister for 5 years, I shall assume that each of those 5 years are ‘reckonable’ for the purposes of a citizenship application.   However if there are gaps in registration evident from my passport for reasons that may be beyond my control, these gaps are deducted and I am notified that I do not qualify.  This issue could arise in the context of renewal of IBC status residency cards and Long Term Residency Applications.  
We are following such matters up but in the meantime we direct our readers to the judgement of Sulaimon and The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, 20091173JR which might be of interest. We would also invite your comments on any problems you have had in this area.
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