Irish Citizenship - Overview
Having Irish citizenship allows you to enjoy certain rights and benefits. For one, you get the right to travel, work and live in any EU member state. You also get access to support services, apply for an Irish passport, and have the right to vote in elections.
There are two major ways to become an Irish citizen:
- By birth or descent
- Through naturalisation.
However, certain requirements must be met before you can claim citizenship by any of these routes.
Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining Irish Citizenship by Birth
You are automatically an Irish citizen if you were born in Ireland before January 1, 2005. This applies whether or not your parent(s) are citizens or not.
If you were born after this date, you must meet any of the following criteria to become eligible for Irish citizenship by birth.
- Your parent(s) must be Irish citizens.
- Your parent(s) are foreign nationals who have been legally resident in Ireland for at least three years at the time of your birth.
- Your parent(s) is a British citizen.
- Your parent(s) was granted refugee status in the state.
The same condition applies if you were adopted, provided your adoption was legally recognised under Irish law.
Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining Irish Citizenship by Descent
If you were born abroad, you are eligible to claim Irish citizenship by descent if you meet any of the following conditions:
- One of your parents is an Irish citizen born in Ireland.
- One of your parents is an Irish citizen born outside Ireland.
- One of your parents is a foreign national who obtained citizenship through naturalisation.
- Your grandparents have an Irish nationality, even if neither of your parents was born in Ireland.
It is also required that your grandparent or parent through whom you want to claim citizenship by descent must have had their birth registered in the Foreign Births Register before you were born.
Documents Required for Obtaining Irish Citizenship by Descent
The following documents would be required when applying for citizenship by descent:
- Your birth certificate.
- Birth certificate of your Irish grandparent or parent through whom you want to claim citizenship.
- Proof of your grandparent’s or parent’s nationality when you were born.
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining Irish Citizenship by Naturalisation
Foreign nationals resident in Ireland can obtain Irish citizenship through naturalisation. You qualify for Irish citizenship by naturalisation if:
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You meet the “reckonable residence” requirement. This means you must have resided in Ireland for at least five years in the last nine years.
- You have lived in Ireland continuously throughout the year preceding your application.
- You can prove that you intend to continue living in Ireland after obtaining citizenship.
- You are married or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen, a legal resident of Ireland, and have lived with your spouse/partner for at least three years in the last five years.
- You meet the good character requirement. It is generally determined by checking your criminal background records, tax certificates, and all indicators of adherence to Irish laws and regulations.
Calculating Your Reckonable Residence
Your reckonable residence is the period of time you have lived in Ireland before submitting your application for citizenship by naturalisation.
For non-citizens of the EU/EEA, the UK, and Switzerland, residency periods on long-stay visas, particularly work permits, can make up your reckonable residence counts. The only permit types you can use to compute your reckonable residence include:
- Stamp 1 – Periods of residence in Ireland under a work permit.
- Stamp 1G – Periods of residence in Ireland as the spouse or civil partner of a work permit holder
- Stamp 3 – Time of residence in Ireland as the dependent of a legal resident in Ireland.
- Stamp 4
- Stamp 5
Time spent in Ireland under student visas, graduate schemes, and tourist visas does not qualify as reckonable residence for your citizenship application.
For citizens of the EU/EEA, the UK, and Switzerland, you will have to submit documents to prove your reckonable residence. These include
- Bank statements
- Tenancy agreements
- Household bills
- Payslips/employment offers
- Tax returns
Documents Required for Irish Citizenship by Naturalisation
The standard documents required to claim citizenship by naturalisation include:
- Completed and signed Form 8 citizenship application form.
- A valid passport and original copies of all passports you’ve held since your residence in Ireland.
- Coloured copies of the biometric and stamped pages of all your passports.
- Two coloured passport photographs taken not more than 30 days before your application. You must have a witness to sign and date them, confirming they’re your photographs.
- A certified copy of your birth certificate.
- A copy of the permission to remain letter issued to you by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).
- A certified copy of your Irish Residence Permit.
- At least three documents to prove your residence in Ireland for each year you lived there. These documents must carry your name, address, and date of issue. Qualifying documents include home rental agreements, household bills, mortgage documents, or employment letters.
- A copy of your online residency checker form.
- A letter from your employer stating the start date of your current employment.
- Recent payslips: three copies from the last six months.
- Copies of recent bank statements for all your accounts in Ireland for three months.
- A copy of your tax statements from the Revenue Commissioner’s office every year of your stay in Ireland.
- A copy of your marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate (if applicable).
- If you want to claim citizenship on the grounds of marriage, you must provide proof of your partner’s Irish citizenship (birth certificate or passport).
- If you want to claim citizenship on the grounds of marriage, you must provide proof of a joint address with your partner (lease agreement, utility bills)
- Proof of your registration with the Department of Social Security.
- Irish citizenship application fee slip.
Depending on your nationality and naturalisation route, some or all of these document requirements may apply to you.
It is important to note that all documents must be in English or Irish. Documents in a different language must be submitted along with a certified translation.
INIS may request additional documents as they deem fit, which can constitute a delay in your application processing. It’s essential to seek the services of immigration experts to ensure your documents are in order to prevent delay or rejection. IAS lawyers are always available to help. You can contact us online or call us at +353 061 518 025.
Applying for Irish citizenship can be time-consuming, especially when gathering supporting documents. A little mistake or inconsistency in your application process might result in delays or rejection. Seeking professional immigration services will relieve the stress and paperwork burden.
If you are looking to apply for Irish citizenship either by birth, descent, or naturalisation, IAS can help.
We have experts and professionals who are very experienced in Irish immigration. We’ll provide all the necessary information you need to know about the Irish citizenship requirements and eligibility criteria. Our experts will guide you through the citizenship application process and help you gather all relevant supporting documentation. We will also double-check every detail to ensure your application is successful.
For more information about our services and how we can be of help to you, contact us online or call us at +353 061 518 025 for immediate assistance. We are always available to help in person, online, or via the phone.
Last modified on October 19th, 2023 at 4:24 pm
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To qualify for Irish citizenship by naturalisation, you must have been legally resident in Ireland for at least five years.
Once you’ve submitted all the required documents, it could take 12 to 18 months to get approval. You could speed things up by ensuring you submitted the required documents and double-checking to ensure there are no errors or omissions in your application.
Irish citizenship can be revoked if it was procured by fraud or misrepresentation knowingly or unknowingly.
Yes, Ireland allows dual citizenship, provided your country of nationality also supports dual citizenship.