Applying With Family Members and Irish Citizenship for the Next Generation

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This segment will address how families can apply for Irish citizenship by descent, and how citizenship is passed on from generation to generation.

What is Irish citizenship by descent?
Irish citizenship by descent is a birth entitlement to citizenship that is passed down through the family bloodline. You can claim Irish citizenship by descent if you have an Irish ancestor; namely, a parent, grandparent or, in certain cases, a great-grandparent.

Foreign births register
The Foreign Births Register is essentially a record of Irish citizens born outside of Ireland, and it allows those who live abroad with Irish ancestry to claim Irish citizenship. In order to apply for Irish citizenship by descent you will need to enter your birth on the Foreign Births Register (FBR). To do so, you will need to complete the online foreign births registration application, which you can access on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website.

Once the online application form is completed, you must submit it electronically and then print a paper version, which you must sign and send with the required documents to the Foreign Births Registration Department in Dublin.

Once successful, you are be entered in the Foreign Birth Register, and granted Irish citizenship.  You can then apply for an Irish passport.

Passing citizenship on to the next generation
In order for Irish citizenship to be transferred from parent to child, it is important that each generation registers their birth in the Foreign Births Register (FBR) before the next generation is born. This is to ensure that the next generation have the rights and entitlements that Irish citizenship affords, from being able to live, study and work in Ireland, access its education, health and social care systems, and utilize the economic opportunities of the flourishing job market.

Additionally, being an Irish citizen also means EU citizenship. As an EU citizen you can enjoy the benefits, such as travelling anywhere within the 27 EU member states for the purpose of work or study, without time or visa restrictions.

Applying with siblings
If you are applying with siblings, once you have completed the online form, you can enclose the two separate application forms in one envelope and send with a letter stating that some of the documents apply to both applications. You can also use the same documents (original copies) for the Irish ancestor through whom you are applying for recognition of Irish citizenship. If you want the documents to be used for all the applications you need to enclose a letter to explain and clarify the purpose of each document and who you want them to be used for, in order to avoid confusion and risk delays.
It should be noted that this only applies if you are resident in the same country when applying.

If you and your sibling/s are applying through the Foreign Birth Register, claiming to have your citizenship recognized through your Irish ancestor who is either a parent, grandparent, and, as stated, in rarer cases, a great-grandparent, you will need to include the original foreign birth registration certificate of your ancestor, as it shows and proves your claim of a blood relation.

Applying on behalf of minors
As outlined above, before completing the online form, which then needs to be printed and sent to the Foreign Births Registration Department, the first step is to gather and collate all required documents. If you are an Irish citizen parent applying on behalf of a minor, and you are applying together, you will need to include the original civil birth certificate of Irish citizen parent (showing parental details).

In respect of minor applicants whose parent is an Irish citizen through entry on the Foreign Births Register, an application made by Irish citizen parent on behalf of a minor will need to include the documents pertaining to the Irish citizen parent. These will be: the civil birth, marriage, change of name (if applicable) certificate, state-issued photographic ID (i.e. passport, driver’s license, national identity card), and copies that are certified “as a true copy of the original” by a witness.
In addition, a letter from school, family doctor or other relevant source on headed paper, which shows the address of the minor, is also needed, and proofs of address for Irish citizen parent, and photographs (2 of which to be witnessed).
Applications made by minors on the basis of an Irish-born grandparent will require documentation relating the grandparent, such as the birth, marriage and death (if applicable) certificate, as well as the other listed documents.
There are other categories through which applications for minors are registered, such as through a parent who is an Irish citizen through naturalization. Therefore, for specific requirements always refer to the DFA guidelines on the registering a foreign birth homepage.

Expectant parents
In respect of expectant parents, to ensure that your child will be able to claim Irish citizenship, you must apply to, and have your details entered in the Foreign Birth Register before your child is born.

Cost and processing time
If you are a minor (under 18) the registration and certificate amounts to €145, plus a postage and handling fee of €8, which is non-refundable.
If you are an adult (over 18), the registration and certificate fee is €270, plus postage and handling fee of €8 (non-refundable).Foreign Birth Registration takes approximately 9 months to process and are done so in strict date order.

Irish citizenship through great-grandparents
If relation to those who have a claim to Irish citizenship because a great-grandparents who was born in Ireland, but you are unable to apply via the Foreign Births Register because your parent was not registered in the FBR at the time of your birth, or between the dates specified;then the alternative route for you is Irish citizenship through association, which is becoming a citizen through naturalization.
These applications are made through the Citizenship Division of the Department for Justice, and follow a different process, details can be found on the Department for Justice website.

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

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