How to get Irish citizenship? Exploring the paths to becoming an Irish citizen

Diplomatic support for Irish people abroad
May 29, 2018
Holding Irish Citizenship after Brexit
September 22, 2023

Living in Ireland uniquely blends stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a warm and welcoming community. From its picturesque countryside and dramatic coastlines to its vibrant cities teeming with history and bustling nightlife, Ireland provides a high quality of life, excellent healthcare, and a strong education system. The country’s emphasis on work-life balance and its reputation for friendliness make it an appealing destination for those seeking a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. Furthermore, the Irish passport grants access to the European Union benefits and travel privileges, which is why many are keen to explore their eligibility for Irish citizenship.

How does one seek Irish citizenship? Does Ireland allow for dual citizenship? Is it challenging to qualify for Irish citizenship by descent? This article will answer some of the most frequently asked questions concerning applying for Irish citizenship by descent, marriage, and residency.

Lineage and Descent
One of the most common routes to obtaining Irish citizenship is through an application for citizenship by descent. Ireland does not offer birthright citizenship (also known as jus soli), which means being born on Irish soil does not automatically grant you Irish citizenship.
In fact, in 2005, the Republic of Ireland changed its law regarding citizenship by birth. This means that children born after January 1st, 2005, to non-Irish parents are not automatically Irish citizens.
Instead, Ireland follows the principle of jus sanguinis, which means that Irish citizenship is typically conferred through descent from Irish parents or grandparents. Delving into your family tree can unveil the possibility of qualifying for Irish citizenship.
If one of your parents was born in Ireland before 2005, you are automatically and already an Irish citizen. You just need to apply for a passport.
If one of your grandparents was born in Ireland, you can apply for citizenship by descent. In this case, you can become an Irish citizen through Foreign Birth Registration.
Once a person enters the Foreign Births Register, they are an Irish citizen and they are entitled to apply for an Irish passport. You can complete the Foreign Births Register form via the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Being an Irish citizen carries several benefits. It formally recognizes you as a national of Ireland and a citizen of the European Union, granting you specific rights. These rights include holding an Irish passport and living and working within Ireland and the EU. Furthermore, you have the option to seek assistance from Irish embassies and consulates worldwide or from those of any other EU member state in countries where Irish representation is not available, following the EU Consular Protection Directive.

What does the process involve?
Once you know the ancestor who will qualify you for Irish citizenship, you can acquire Irish citizenship through descent. If one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth and was born on the Island of Ireland, you are automatically an Irish citizen. You can simply apply for a passport.
On the contrary, if your parent was born abroad but had Irish citizenship at birth, or your grandparent was born in the Republic of Ireland, you must apply to become an Irish citizen, through the Foreign Births Register.
Once a person’s details are entered into the Foreign Births Register, they are an Irish citizen and entitled to apply for an Irish passport. Among the documents needed to apply are the applicant’s original civil birth certificate, passport, and a completed and signed application form. You must also provide a witnessed application form (by an individual who knows the applicant but is not related to that person) and documents relating to the Irish parent and grandparent born in Ireland. These documents must prove that they were Irish citizens at the time of birth of the applicant.

Applications are submitted online and they are processed in strict date order. This process is currently taking approximately nine months. Once registered you will receive your certificate of Irish citizenship upon approval, officially recognizing your Irish citizenship. This will allow you to apply for a passport.

Residency and Naturalization
Citizenship can be obtained for those without Irish ancestry by establishing residency in Ireland. One of the legal requirements is to have lived in Ireland for at least five years as a legal resident. The requirements include maintaining a stable legal status. Once your application is approved, you will be invited to attend an oath ceremony.

Irish citizenship through marriage
Irish citizenship is not automatically acquired when married to an Irish national. You can apply for Irish citizenship if you are married to an Irish citizen and have lived in Ireland legally for three years before the day of your application. Then, to obtain Irish citizenship, you must also be in good standing and have been married and living together with your spouse for three years.

Dual citizenship, obligations, and benefits
It’s important to note that Ireland allows for dual citizenship, which means you can retain your original citizenship while becoming an Irish citizen. This provision will enable you to maintain your connection to your home country while enjoying the benefits of Irish citizenship. However, checking the rules and regulations regarding dual citizenship in your home country is advisable, as some nations have specific laws that may impact your ability to hold two citizenships.

Irish citizens are expected to follow the country’s laws, actively participate in democratic processes such as voting, and fulfill civic duties like jury service. Furthermore, Irish citizens residing in Ireland are liable for income taxes. As an Irish citizen, you will enjoy the benefits of freedom of movement within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). You can live, work, study, or retire in any EU or EEA country without a visa or residence permit. Most importantly, you can pass your citizenship on to your children.

Our expertise
Working with professionals and experts such as Irish Citizenship Assistance increases your chances of success. We have an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of the process, ensuring that your application is accurate, complete, and submitted in compliance with all necessary regulations. We would love to learn more about your specific case and goal and embark on this journey towards Irish citizenship together.

Contact us at info@irishcitizenshipassistance.com for further information; it will be our pleasure to assist you.

Contact us!