Diplomatic support for Irish people abroad
May 29, 2018

Irish citizens are members of the Irish community, which consists of the Irish community living in Ireland and the Irish community living abroad.
Being an Irish citizen means that you are legally recognized also as a citizen of the European Union.
Irish citizens enjoy certain rights and privileges that are guaranteed under the Irish Constitution as well as by the European Union.

Below are the main reasons why obtaining Irish citizenship is advantageous:

  • You can work, reside and study in Ireland and in the other EU member states without the need for a Visa.
  • You can access public medical care. European citizens and residents traveling within the EU are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card which is free of charge. The card simplifies the procedure to receive medical assistance abroad and it grants the right to health care services in any EU country.
  • You can easily access public education. As EU citizens, your children are entitled to attend school in any EU country. Your children can also benefit from a free introductory language program to help them integrate and adapt to the new school system, which may be very different compared to the one in your country of origin. Due to the fact that there is no EU-wide recognition of school certificates, you might need to consult with the local authorities in order to provide the correct documentation needed to enroll your children in a school.
  • Benefit from greater career opportunities: the acquisition of Irish citizenship could facilitate the access to jobs and other employment opportunities in Europe. Indeed, many European companies prefer to hire foreign nationals who are also European citizens. In addition to this, US multinational companies which have branches in the EU are more likely to transfer employees with dual citizenship for extended periods of time. Furthermore, entrepreneurs with dual citizenship can start a business in Europe easily compared to non-EU citizens.
  • Benefit from diplomatic support: if you are an Irish citizen living outside of Ireland, you are entitled to an Irish passport, as well as diplomatic support from Irish embassies/consulates abroad. There are Irish embassies and consulates-general located in countries throughout the world that can assist you while you are abroad.
  • You can vote in Irish elections and be elected to government in Ireland and in the European Union. If you have Irish citizenship, you have the right to vote in all referenda and elections in Ireland. In order to exercise this right, you must ensure that your name has been entered on the Electoral Register. Irish citizens who reside in Ireland are entitled to vote in all elections. EU citizens who reside in Ireland can only vote in local and European elections. Non-EU citizens can only vote in local elections.
  • You can easily fulfill all the purchasing requirements to buy a property in Ireland. There are no restrictions for EU and non-EU nationals who wish to buy a property in Ireland. However, owning residential property in Ireland does not entitle the owner to establish residence there. Residence and/or the right to remain in Ireland depend on each individual’s personal circumstances. Holding Irish citizenship allows you to stay in Ireland without time limitations. Therefore, you can research and identify the property that best suits your needs without any rush.
  • You can reconnect with your roots and explore your ancestor’s culture and identity. There are a few symbols which are unique to Ireland, for example, the Irish flag, the constitution, the national anthem, the harp, the popular songs, to name a few. Becoming an Irish citizen will provide you with an opportunity to discover Ireland, its history, culture and traditions.

On the other hand, non-EU citizen wishing to visit or travel within the EU:

  • are able to travel with the EU without any visa for a maximum 90 days.
  • Some foreign citizens must apply for a visa at the consulate or embassy of the country they are visiting. If the visa obtained is from a “Schengen area” country, they can travel to other Schengen countries. The “Schengen Area” includes 26 European nations where people, goods, services, and capital may move without any restrictions. The member states of the Schengen area should issue visas within 15 days from the date of application. If you are visiting a non-Schengen country (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, UK) you may need a national visa.
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