Second stage of processing

I got a letter from the Department of Justice and Equality today, saying that my application for naturalisation has processed to the second stage of processing.

The letter says:

Your application has now been initially assessed and has proceeded to the second stage of processing.

Your application is being processed with a view to establishing whether you meet the statutory conditions for the granting of naturalisation and will be submitted to the Minister for decision as expeditiously as possible as soon as our enquiries are complete and all required documentation has been compiled.

It’s taken nearly 15 months to get to this stage of my application, and I’m not entirely sure what this ‘second stage’ is. Some people say it’s the part of the process when they go to An Garda Siochana to get a background check. If that’s true, then there’s probably a long way still to go before I’ll get my citizenship.

On the Immigration Boards website there are people who seem to move to the second stage after only a few weeks – some at the same time as their passport is returned.