Holding Irish Citizenship after Brexit
September 22, 2023
What documents are necessary to prove your lineage?
October 20, 2023

Having Irish citizenship comes with many benefits, such as free movement between the UK and EU for travel, work, and study. These benefits are even more noticeable since Brexit. If you find that you qualify for Irish citizenship, you might be wondering what the timeline for obtaining it looks like.

Qualifications for Irish citizenship
In order to qualify for Irish citizenship by ancestry, you, your parents, or your grandparents must have been born on the Island of Ireland before 1 January 2005, or otherwise registered in the Foreign Births Register.

The Foreign Births Register is for those who can apply to become Irish citizens through their Irish-born grandparents, or their parent who was an Irish citizen at the time of their birth, but was not born in Ireland. If one of your grandparents was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents were, you may become an Irish citizen. You will need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Birth Register.

You can also apply through a great-grandparent, but only if your great-grandparent’s grandchild (your parent) who is of Irish descent was registered in the Foreign Births Register between the years 1956 and 1986, or if you were born after 1986, and they registered before you were born.

*Once a person is registered in the Foreign Births Register they are an Irish citizen and are entitled to apply for an Irish passport.

Required documents
It is necessary to obtain the vital records for yourself and the Irish parent or grandparent you are seeking citizenship through. The documents needed are:

  • Birth certificates
  • Certified photocopies of IDs (passports, drivers licenses, and national identity cards are all acceptable)
  • Marriage and/or divorce certificates (if applicable)
  • Death certificates (if applicable to the parent or grandparent)

The applicant will also need to provide two different proofs of address and four-color photographs.

Finally, you will also need to fill out the application form and have a witness to confirm your identity. The witness must adhere to strict qualifications. He/she cannot be related to the applicant, must reside in the UK, and be of one of the following professions: police officer, clergy member, medical doctor, solicitor, bank manager, building society manager, school principle/head teacher, head of department at university/college, or magistrate/judge. After the application has been witnessed by one of these people, it is only valid for six months.

Taking into account the requirements outlined above, you should allocate about 3-6 months for the collection and legalization of all vital records. These records must either be original or certified copies.

It is then necessary to secure a witness for your application, adhering to the requirements already mentioned. You will need to fill out the Foreign Births Registration application, which can be found on the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Once this document has been filled out, you will need to submit it online and print it to include with the rest of your documents for the mail-in application. The printed version will need to be signed and witnessed, and all supporting documentation needs to be submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or your local consulate.

The application fee should also be included in your mail-in application. The cost is 278 euros for adults, and 153 euros for persons under 18.

Once your application is submitted, it can take six to nine months to process. If it is accepted, you will receive a copy of your Foreign Births Registration certificate and you are then able to apply for an Irish passport.

This article has sought to explain the timeline of obtaining Irish citizenship through ancestry, and has hopefully clarified some of the important steps. With that said, we understand the application process can present challenges and at times be daunting; so if you require any further assistance, or are interested in a consultation, then please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help.

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