Irish Citizenship Through Association

Irish citizenship through association
Irish citizenship through association, which falls under citizenship by naturalization, may be for those who have a great-grandparent who was born in Ireland, and therefore have a claim to Irish citizenship, but you are unable to apply through the Foreign Births Register (FBR) because you do not meet the criteria, namely that your parent was not registered on the FBR (therefore was not an Irish citizen) at the time of your birth.

Legal definition
Section 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 states a person is of Irish associations if:

(a) he or she is related by blood, affinity or adoption to, or is the civil partner of, a person who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen, or

(b) he or she was related by blood, affinity or adoption to, or was the civil partner of, a person who is deceased and who, at the time of his or her death, was an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen.

Criteria for applications made by association

  • You are aged 18 or over, or if you are under 18 you are married;
  • You meet the residency requirements (“reckonable residence”);
  • You plan to reside in Ireland, or if you are spouse/civil partner of an Irish citizen, you intend to live on the island of Ireland;
  • You are of “good character”.

Applications made for citizenship through association are expected to have around 3 years of legal/lawful residency in Ireland. If you do not meet this requirement, you will need to present a strong case that demonstrates you have a meaningful connection to Ireland. The more you can evidence tangible links with Ireland, the stronger your application for Irish citizenship by association will be.

Decision-making in granting or denying an application
Applications go to the Immigration Division of Department of Justice, and decisions are made by The Irish Minister for Justice. The Minister has absolute authority and discretion to waive, or not, the eligibility requirements, and grant or deny a citizenship claim.

Building a case
With the above considered, if you do not meet the residency criteria, you will need to present a strong case for association. This will involve listing your connections to Ireland, including any relationships (relatives, friends, business) you have there; travel to Ireland, for work, holiday, study; outlining any future intentions to live in Ireland; any memberships you may have in Irish clubs or societies, and any Irish hobbies and interests you have. Also needed in support of your application are 3 references from Irish citizens.

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

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