People without a recent family history of Irish citizenship or a spouse who is an Irish citizen should not give up hope. Naturalisation is the procedure through which a foreign person residing in Ireland can seek to become an Irish citizen. It is a long and complicated process that requires evidence of having met both the educational and language requirements for citizenship, as well as providing proof of knowing about the responsibilities of being an Irish citizen.
In order to be granted Irish citizenship you will need:
- Proof of having met the education requirement (usually proven by showing that you have reached the age of 18 before the date of application).
- Evidence of having known about the responsibility to be an Irish citizen (for example, by showing that you are aware that you must fulfill some civic duty such as voting in elections or serving in the armed forces).
- Proof of having a good character - including no convictions for certain crimes such as terrorism or treason.
- Funds to cover the cost of applying for citizenship and any other required documents.
The Department of Justice and Equality can advise on what documentation is needed to prove your qualifications. They can also help with finding jobs and renting apartments if you are still working towards becoming an Irish citizen.
Spouses of Irish citizens can apply for citizenship. You can seek to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation if you are married to or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen. You must have resided continuously in Ireland or Northern Ireland for 12 months prior to the date of your application. You also need to meet other requirements including having a knowledge of the Irish language.
Becoming an Irish citizen will make your spouse a European Union citizen. If your spouse moves to another EU country they will be able to live and work there as long as they possess a valid passport and visa and are not considered illegal immigrants.
Ancestry is one of the simplest methods to obtain Irish citizenship. Many people are granted Irish citizenship via their grandparents. You can obtain citizenship by ancestry if one of your parents was born in Ireland or if you had Irish grandparents.
The Immigration Service (formerly called the Department of Justice and Equality) reviews applications from individuals who can prove they have at least one parent who was born in Ireland or who has two Irish grandparents. If your application is successful, you will be given a certificate of citizenship.
It is possible to gain Irish citizenship via another country. For example, if you were born in Ireland or lived there for at least five years as a child, you are automatically considered a citizen of Ireland. However, this option is available only if your nationality is not recognized by Ireland. If it is, you cannot apply through this channel.
If you want to learn more about how to get Irish citizenship, we recommend that you read our Irish citizenship article.
If you live in Ireland or Northern Ireland and match the following criteria, you may apply: You are at least 18 years old. You've been married for at least three years. Your spouse/partner is an Irish citizen.
In addition, if your spouse/partner is alive, they will have to consent to your application and appear in person before an Irish immigration officer to answer questions about your marriage. They cannot file papers on your behalf because it is up to you to provide evidence that you are eligible to become an Irish citizen.
To be considered for registration, applicants must complete a "Registry Document" which includes information about them and their spouse/partner. This document is used by the Department of Justice to verify identity and eligibility. The form is published each year in February just before marriage licensing periods begin across Ireland. It can only be obtained from County Civil Registration Offices.
You do not have to give up your Irish citizenship to become a citizen of another country, according to Irish law. However, certain nations' laws may force you to relinquish your Irish citizenship before becoming a citizen there. The same is true of other countries that share a border with Ireland.
For example, if you live in the UK and are not able to prove that you are eligible to remain there, even after five years, then you will probably be deported when you leave the country. And if you claim Irish citizenship but were not born in Ireland, you could be forced to give it up.
Even if you are not required to do so by law, giving up your Irish citizenship would not harm any future immigration claims you might make. In fact, it would help you because it would reduce the risk of being denied entry into Ireland or the UK.
As well as the UK and Ireland, other countries that require citizens to provide evidence of their eligibility to stay include: Canada, France, Germany, and Italy. Some countries require you to provide evidence of having valid nationality papers for every year since you were born (e.g., France). Others require only that you show you're eligible to stay without proof if you arrived before a specific date (e.g., Australia).
Even if you were born outside of Ireland, you may be able to apply for Irish citizenship and an Irish passport. Original long-form birth certificate and civil marriage certificate (if you've changed your surname).
If you cannot provide these documents, you will need to provide other evidence that shows that you are entitled to citizenship.
This could include: proof that your parents are both Irish or one of them has been granted citizenship; a letter from an Irish embassy or consulate confirming that your family has an interest in obtaining citizenship; or even a letter written by your grandparents or older ancestors stating that they are entitled to citizenship.
In some cases, it may be possible to obtain citizenship by descent. For example, if you are the child of two Irish citizens and their marriage met the requirements for eligibility, then you would be entitled to citizenship. However, this requires evidence of both parents' entitlement to citizenship and they must also be alive to provide testimony.
It is important to note that although being born in Ireland means that you are automatically given Irish citizenship, this does not mean that you are obliged to return to Ireland. If you can prove that you are eligible for citizenship and want to apply, then you should do so. If not, you should confirm your nationality with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
You may be an Irish citizen by birth if you or your parents were born in Ireland, or if you were adopted in Ireland. If you are not born in Ireland, you may be eligible to get Irish citizenship by declaring your birth on the Foreign Births Register or by applying for naturalisation.
To be considered for registration on the Foreign Births Register, you need to provide evidence that shows that at least one of your parents is Irish. This could include a copy of the birth certificate for either parent, or an affidavit from each parent stating how they became involved with the life of the child. If there is no birth certificate available, another document showing where and when the child was born can be used instead.
In addition to this, you will also need to show that you have an interest in becoming an Irish citizen. For example, you can do this by joining the Irish Defence Forces, voting in elections or by applying for a passport.
It is possible to get registered even if you don't know it yet. The best way to do this is to apply for a passport. When you apply for a passport, you have to answer some questions about your address and nationality. If you don't know what these questions are yet, don't worry about it until later. Just make sure that when you apply for your passport, you give correct information about your address and nationality.