Benefits of Irish citizenship

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 to all Irish citizens as well as guaranteed by the European Union to all EU citizens.

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

  • You can work, reside and study in Ireland and in the other European Union countries without the need for a Visa.

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 and in some cases 180 time period as long as they have a valid passport valid for at least 3 months after the date they intend to leave the EU country they are visiting and issued within the previous 10 years.
  • Some foreign citizens must apply for a visa from the consulate or embassy of the country they are visiting. If the visa obtained is from a “Schengen area” country, they can travel to the other Schengen countries as well. The “Schengen Area” is composed by 26 European nations that abolished their internal borders with the other states. In these countries, people, goods, services, and capital may move freely and without any restrictions, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality. The member states of the Schengen area should issue visas within 15 days. If you are visiting a non-Schengen country (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, UK) you may need a national visa that will be issued as quickly as possible.
  • You can access public medical care as available to EU citizens. European citizens and residents traveling within the EU are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card which is free of charge and simplifies the procedure when receiving medical assistance during the stay in a member state. It grants the right to health care services necessary and provided by the state during the stay in any EU country.
  • You can easily access public education as available to EU citizens: as EU citizens, your children are entitled to attend school in any EU country under the same conditions as the children of that country. They will be placed in a class with their own age group, at the equivalent level to their class in your country of origin. Besides, if you move to another EU country, your children are entitled to free introductory tuition in order to help them integrate and adapt to the new school system. This program includes support to learn the language of the new home country. The school system in EU countries may be very different from the one of your country of origin. For this reason, there is no automatic EU-wide recognition of school certificates. In some cases, you need to ask the national authorities to recognize your children’s school certificates before registering them for a local school.
  • Benefit from career prospects: the acquisition of Irish citizenship could facilitate the access to jobs and other employment opportunities in Europe. Indeed, many European companies give preference to foreign nationals who are also European citizens. Besides, US or multinational companies which have branches in the EU are more likely to transfer their workers with dual citizenship to these branches for extended periods of time, since having both a European and a US passport entails far less bureaucratic annoyance for the company. Furthermore, entrepreneurs with dual citizenship can much more easily start a business in Europe as they will not face the restrictions applied to non-EU citizens.
  • Benefit from diplomatic support for Irish people abroad: if you are an Irish citizen living outside of Ireland, you are entitled to an Irish passport, as well as diplomatic supports from Irish embassies/consulates abroad. There are Irish embassies and consulates-general located in countries throughout the world that, if you are in need, can assist you while you are abroad.
  • You can vote in an Irish election and you can 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 that right, you must ensure that your name has been entered on the Electoral Register. Resident Irish citizens are entitled to vote at all elections. Resident EU citizens can only vote at local and European elections. Non-EU citizens can only vote at local elections.
  • You can easily fulfill all the purchasing requirements for buying a property in Ireland. There are no restrictions on both EU and non-EU nationals buying property in Ireland. However, owning residential property in Ireland does not entitle the owner to a right of residence there. Residence and/or the right to remain in Ireland depend on each individual’s personal circumstances. Having the Irish citizenship allow you to stay on the island as long as you want, without time constraints. Furthermore, it can simplify the decision-making process in choosing the right property. As an Irish citizen, you can experience an extended stay in order to find the best kind of accommodation in the finest location.
  • You can honor the past generations of your family and to establish a cultural identity with the Irish people. Irish culture has many different meanings. There is no set definition of Irish culture but there are a few symbols which are unique to Ireland, for example, the Irish flag, the constitution, the national anthem, the harp which is the symbol of the Irish state, the popular songs, the pub culture…Becoming an Irish citizen gives people the opportunity to honor their past and strengthen the country culture. They learn to appreciate their heritage, understanding also how the Irish culture has influenced their own.


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