The Costs Associated with Applying for Irish Citizenship
February 20, 2024
The Irish Passport
March 28, 2024

This article will discuss what happens once you have acquired Irish citizenship and are recognized as an Irish citizen. It will explain when and how an Irish passport is issued, and will highlight its advantages.
The article will also outline the benefits and implications of being an Irish citizen, both if you reside in the U.S., and within the EU, and live as a dual citizen.

Dual citizenship
The first important point to make is that Ireland allows dual citizenship. This means that you can become an Irish citizen without relinquishing your current citizenship status. This is significant because it means you can enjoy and access all the benefits that being an Irish citizen affords, and still be a citizen of your home country.

Benefits of Irish citizenship
Ireland is a country with a rich history, heritage, and culture. Its citizens enjoy a high quality of life with a flourishing economy and excellent healthcare and education.
As an Irish citizen, you can live, work and study in Ireland, as well as participate in the democratic traditions there, such as voting in general and national elections. It also means you can purchase property with more appealing tax incentives, and utilize the services of the highly-regarded social and health institutes.
Furthermore, Ireland is a member of the EU, and therefore Irish citizenship affords you the advantages and freedoms guaranteed to all EU citizens, such as: the right to free movement within the EU to live, work and study, without time or visa restrictions; increased power and potential to invest and buy property; access to medical and healthcare in the other 26 EU-member countries; and the opportunity to attend universities and institutions within the EU, without cost.

The Irish passport and living in Ireland as an Irish citizen
You can only apply and obtain an Irish passport once you have become an Irish citizen. In order to apply for an Irish passport, you will need to access the online passport portal on the Department of Foreign Affairs website. However, if you reside abroad and this service is not available, you can contact the Irish consulate that has jurisdiction where you reside, and they will provide assistance.
Being an Irish citizen means you can hold an Irish passport, giving you the right to reside, study and work in Ireland without restrictions. It means you can establish business enterprises, and have increased purchasing power, in terms of property and investment.
It grants full participation in the democratic traditions of Ireland, including voting in general and national elections, and gives full access to the highly-regarded health and social care institutions.

Healthcare in Ireland
Ireland has world-renowned healthcare, and has been ranked number 31 out of 195 countries by the Global Health Security Index.
Irish healthcare is governed by the Health Service Executive (HSE), and functions as a two-tiered system. As an Irish citizen and resident in Ireland, you are able to access public healthcare, much of which is free through the medical card system, eligibility is determined by financial need. Medical cards are issued by the Health Service Executive (HSE), and if you are ‘ordinarily resident’, meaning you live in Ireland and intend to do so for one year, you can apply for a medical card. A medical card gives access and covers essential healthcare such as GP visits, prescription, dental checks, optician and eye checks, in-patient and outpatient hospital services, and mental health services. The HSE operates the online service to help you find a GP in your area.
If you have a medical card, you can get certain health services free of charge, and, in general, if you have a dependent spouse/partner/child, they can also access health services for free.

European health insurance card
If you are an Irish citizen, or an EU citizen living in Ireland you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The European Health Insurance Card enables you to access healthcare in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) state free or charge, or at a reduced cost.
To apply you need to be a resident and show proof of address in Ireland. You can then apply online, via your local health office or by post. It is free to obtain and has many benefits for citizens, including health coverage if you are on holiday, or on a stay of less than 3 months within the EU.
Please see here for more information.

Travel within the EU and internationally as an Irish citizen
The Irish passport is recognized as one of the most powerful in the world, and grants visa-free travel to more than 160 countries. As an EU citizen, having an Irish passport grants you the right to travel, work and study within any of the countries of the EU, without visa or time restrictions.
EU citizens are legally permitted to travel to and reside in another EU member state. All that is needed is a valid passport or national identity card. EU citizenship means that EU member states cannot set further conditions regarding the validity or time period of the identity card or passport.
Ireland is not part of the Schengen Agreement, and so Irish citizens must show a passport when travelling to other EU Member States. Likewise, EU citizens entering Ireland will need to show a passport, or a national identity card.

Living as an Irish citizen in the U.S.
Ireland and the U.S. permit dual citizenship, and therefore having dual citizenship in the U.S. in no way affects your U.S. citizenship. It simply means you are a dual citizen and can access and enjoy the benefits of both.
If you reside in the U.S., as an Irish citizen, you can utilize the services of Irish consulates and embassies in the state that has jurisdiction where you live. A consulate represents a nation in a foreign country and its functions are to uphold the rights of its citizens.
Irish consulates and embassies serve multiple functions in relation to its citizens and foreign citizens, including authenticating Irish documents to be used in the U.S., issuing visas and passports and passport renewals.
The citizens register is a voluntary option that Irish citizens, who reside or are travelling abroad, can utilize. Your information is kept by the Department of foreign Affairs who can contact you, and provide assistance if required, in the event of any unforeseen crisis, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or if there is a family emergency.

Voting if abroad
In order to vote in a referendum in Ireland you must be an be an Irish citizen, 18 years old, and have your name on the Register of Electors.
If you are an Irish citizen residing abroad you are not able to be added to the Register of Electors, unless: you are an Irish official on duty abroad (or their spouse or civil partner) and can cast vote by post; a member of the armed forces and/or the diplomatic services;
a NUI or Trinity graduate; you are away from home in Ireland for less than 18 months, but will return within 18 months, in which case you can register at your home address in Ireland, and return home to vote.

Consular and diplomatic protection
EU citizenship grants consular protection to all its citizens; and so if an Irish citizen requires assistance in a country where there is no Irish consulate or embassy, an EU citizen can access any one of the diplomatic or consular representatives of any one of the 26 other EU member states, and they would be obliged and legally required to extend the same services and support as they would to one of their own nationals.
This is an essential and important entitlement given that Ireland is a small country that does not have consulates and embassies situated in every country in the world.

Establishing residency in an EU country
As an Irish national you can establish residency in any EU country if you plan on living there for more than a 3-month period.
You will need to register as a resident within 3 months of your arrival by contacting the local authorities that manage the registry of residents.
In relation to your spouse, if a non-EU citizen, once you establish residency as an EU citizen in any of the EU member states, you are able to obtain a spousal permit that enables them to stay longer than the 3-month limit. See here for more details.

This article has been written to explain what happens once you have been recognized as an Irish citizen, as well as highlighting the significance of the Irish passport, and how and when you can obtain an Irish passport.
It has outlined the benefits of having Irish and dual citizenship, as well as discussing what it means to be an Irish citizen, both if residing in the U.S., and within the EU.  

If you have any queries, or would like more information about applying for Irish citizenship, you can contact us directly and one of our friendly advisors will be in touch to answer your questions.

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