This article is aimed at helping you learn about obtaining Irish citizenship. It discusses the relevant laws that you will need to consider if you are seeking such citizenship.
1. Your first port of call should be to check the relevant legislation. The requirements for Irish citizenship can be found in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1956. This sets out several types of Irish citizenship, ranging from birth to naturalization:
- Irish citizenship by birth: if a child is born in the territory of Ireland, this applies unless the parents are foreigners.
- Irish citizenship by descent: if a child is born overseas, citizenship might be obtainable through a father, mother or grandparent who is an Irish citizen by birth.
- Irish citizenship by marriage: a foreigner can apply for Irish citizenship after being married to an Irish citizen for three years.
- Irish citizenship by naturalization: this method of citizenship can occur through a process which requires that a person has resided in Ireland for a cumulative period of four years out of eight. In the year that the person applies for citizenship, the person must be continuously resident in Ireland.
- Citizenship can be lost either voluntarily or involuntarily. If you wish to renounce your citizenship, you will need to send a “letter of renunciation” to the Department of Justice, Dublin. Your embassy will be able to help you with the details. Citizenship will probably be lost involuntarily if you gained it through fraud or made false statements to obtain it.
- If your mother or father was an Irish citizen born in Ireland, you are automatically an Irish citizen. If one of your grandparents was an Irish citizen born in Ireland, you can claim Irish citizenship through the Foreign Birth Registration process (a lengthy, though relatively simple process of proving your grandparent was born in Ireland and you are his/her grandchild). Your nearest embassy or consulate can help with the details.
- Always see an Irish immigration lawyer or an official who has responsibility for Irish citizenship before taking action to become an Irish citizen. This article is for guidance only and should not be taken as professional advice.