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This article will explain what the Foreign Births Register (FBR) is, and the process of applying to enter your birth on the Foreign Births Register. The FBR (also known as citizenship by descent) is an official register of Irish descendants who were born outside of Ireland and became Irish citizens through their parents or grandparents. The FBR is important because it is how you can claim your Irish citizenship if you have Irish ancestry.
Once your details and records have been entered on the FBR, you become an Irish citizen on the date of registration, and you are then able to apply for a passport.
It is the Department of Foreign Affairs who is responsible for managing all Foreign Births Registration applications. The registration system came into effect in 1956 with the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act.

Eligibility requirements
If you were born outside of Ireland and your parent (who was also born outside of Ireland) was an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen at the time of your birth; then you have the right to become an Irish citizen, and can apply for Irish citizenship through the Foreign Births Register.
If your parent registered this way through their grandparent (your great-grandparent) then you have a right to claim Irish citizenship. You can also apply to enter the FBR and become an Irish citizen if one of your grandparents was born on the island of Ireland.
If you are the great-grandchild of someone born in Ireland and all your grandparents, parents and you were born outside of Ireland, you may still be able to obtain Irish citizenship, but only if your parents had already registered with the Foreign Births Register before your birth. If you are in this category, then you must also register with the Foreign Births Register.
To be eligible to claim Irish citizenship through a great-grandparent, the following criteria must be met: the great-grandparent of the applicant was born in Ireland. The parent of the applicant obtained Irish citizenship because their grandparent (the great-grandparent of the applicant) was an Irish citizen, and the parent of the applicant obtained Irish citizenship by the time he/she was born (if born after 1986) or between 1956 and 1986.
If your parent did not register, although it still possible to pursue Irish citizenship through Irish associations; it should be noted that applications made via an ancestor who is a great-grandparent need to be filed through the Department of Justice, and final decisions are ultimately at the discretion of the Irish Minister for Justice.

Expectant parents
It is important that if you are an expectant parent you register on the FBR before the birth of your child, if you do not, they will not be entitled to Irish citizenship.

How do you apply to register on the FBR?
In order to apply for registration, you will need to: gather all documentation (original copies), and then complete the application form which is online. Once completed you will need to print a copy of your application and make an online payment. A witness (professional who is known to you, but not a relative) must also certify documents and photos “as a true copy of the original”. You will send the application form, along with all other supporting documents, photos, and checklist to PO Box address in Ireland, as stated on the application form.

Living in USA/Canada/Australia or Great Britain
It is important to note that Irish Embassies and Consulates abroad do not process citizenship applications, all applications must go to the office in Dublin.

Applying with siblings
If you are applying with your brothers or sisters, you can send all applications in one envelope. You can also use the same original documents for the Irish ancestor through which you apply. If you want the documents to be used for all the applications you need to enclose a letter to explain; to avoid confusion and risk of delays.

Documentation required
Foreign Births Registration involves sending state-issued (original copy) documentation, including birth, marriage and death certificates, that may have been issued by multiple jurisdictions, potentially relating to three generations.
Each application requires specific documentation depending on the category under which you apply, so it is important to refer to the application guidelines to know exactly which applies to you.

Return of documents
Your documents will be returned to you once your application has been processed. With that said, it is advised to make some copies before sending the originals. You will not need to include a pre-paid envelope because the documentation will be sent to you by recorded delivery, which you will need to sign for them upon receipt.

What is the cost of an application?
Payment is made online when you complete your application. The registration plus certificate cost is €270 if you are over 18. There is also a non-refundable postage and handling fee of €8.
For those under 18 years of age the cost of registration plus certificate is €145, plus the non-refundable postage and handling fee of €8.

How long is the process?
Applications made to the Foreign Birth Register at present are taking approximately 9 months to process and are done so in strict date order. If your application requires further clarification, or is missing a document, then it may take longer.

What happens next?
Once your application has been approved you will receive your official Irish Birth Registration this is usually via mail, unless otherwise requested or agreed. Once you are registered in the FBR you are officially an Irish citizen and can apply or an Irish passport.

This article has explained what Foreign Births Registration is; what qualifies you to apply to be entered into the Foreign Birth Register, and the process to apply for registration.
If you have any further queries about Irish citizenship, or would like to know more about our services; then please do contact us at Irish Citizenship Assistance and one of our friendly experts will be in touch.

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