How Long Does It Take To Get Irish Citizenship?
To be eligible to submit an application for citizenship by naturalisation based on residency, you are required to provide evidence that you have been a resident of the state for at least 5 years (1825 or 1826 days) out of the previous 9 years.
This includes having lived in the area continuously for one year (365 or 366 days) immediately prior to the date on which you submitted your application. The residency calculator is not required to be used by citizens of the UK, EU/EEA, or Switzerland.
In each of the years in which evidence of residence is needed, applicants will need to get a score of 150 points in order to be considered.
Becoming an Irish Citizen Through Naturalisation
If you are an adult who lives in Ireland and you are interested in applying for Irish citizenship, you will first be required to fulfil specific residence requirements, which refer to the amount of time you have spent in Ireland.
The amount of time you spent in Ireland as a foreign student or as an asylum seeker will not be included towards the total amount of time you have spent in Ireland legally (unless you are now officially recognized as a refugee).
Your “reckonable residence” in the state is the amount of time spent there that may be used toward meeting the state’s residency requirements. For the majority of individuals, you need to provide proof that you have lived in Ireland for a total of 5 years during the previous 9 years.
After three years of residency in Ireland, you are eligible to petition for citizenship if you are married to an Irish citizen, or if you have a refugee status. You also need to provide evidence that you have maintained a residence in Ireland during the calendar year immediately preceding the submission of your application.
To be granted Irish citizenship, you must demonstrate that you have spent 1095 or 1096 days of reckonable residence on the island of Ireland based on your accumulated permission stamps. This involves 365 or 366 days of continuous residence before the application date.
If you have Irish associations, are of Irish heritage, have lived abroad while working for the Irish government, or have been proclaimed a refugee or stateless as defined by law, you may also be qualified to apply for Irish citizenship.
Citizenship for spouses of Irish citizens
If you are married or have a civil partnership with an Irish citizen, you are eligible for naturalisation to become an Irish citizen. You are qualified to register if you reside in Ireland or Northern Ireland and satisfy the following requirements:
- You are at least 18 years old.
- Your civil partner is Irish.
- You’ve been married for at least three years.
- You have resided on the island of Ireland for three of the five years preceding your application. You must have continuously resided in Ireland or Northern Ireland for 12 months prior to the application date.
- You intend to reside in Ireland after obtaining Irish citizenship.
- You reside with your partner.
- You have “good character”
Residence in the State
You need to have maintained a residence in the state for a minimum number of years to claim Irish citizenship. The following are the precise conditions that must be met:
- Have a period of continuous reckonable residence in the state for at least 365 days* (one year) immediately before the date on which you submit your application for naturalisation and
- During the eight years prior to that, spent a cumulative total of 1,460 days* residing in the state, which is equivalent to four years.
You are still regarded as a resident of Ireland for the whole year even if you leave the country for up to six weeks (total) during that year. If you go away for more than six weeks in a single year, you shouldn’t consider that time period when you’re figuring out how long you’ve lived there in the reckonable dwelling.
You are required to provide an explanation in your application if you were forced to leave the island of Ireland for a period of more than six weeks due to an emergency.
If you spent more than six weeks outside of Ireland during the year immediately before the year in which you want to make an application, you may be required to wait until the following year before submitting one.
Out of the previous nine years, you need to have a total of five years’ worth (five x 365 days’) worth of reckonable residency.Any time period that includes February 29th (in a leap year) requires one additional day to be added.
After three years of residency, certain kinds of applicants are eligible to apply to get Irish citizenship.
The calculation of the reckonable residence
The term “reckonable residence” refers to time spent in Ireland that may be used toward eligibility requirements to obtain Irish citizenship. You are able to claim legal residence in Northern Ireland as part of your application if it is based on the fact that you are married to or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen.
If you come from a country that is not a member of the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom, or Switzerland, only specific periods of residency will count toward the required number of years of reckonable residence. The following are some instances of time periods that may be considered toward a reckonable residence in Irish naturalisation:
- The amount of time spent in Ireland on a work visa, which is often accompanied by an Irish Residence visa Stamp 1.
- The amount of time invested on a Stamp 4
- Time spent as a dependant of someone with a work permit or another legal resident (often with a Stamp 3)
- Time spent as the spouse or partner of an individual who has a Critical Skills Employment Permit or time spent on the Third Level Graduate Scheme (with Stamp 1G).
- Time spent on a Stamp 5, which does not have any time conditions attached to it.
The following are examples of non-countable amounts of time spent of reckonable include:
- Time spent on a student visa (often with a Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A IRP), unless you are applying as a “young adult”
- Your stay in Ireland without proper documentation is a criminal offence.
- Time invested while you were submitting an application for international protection
You may check to see whether you satisfy the residence requirements for naturalisation by using the online residency calculator that is available on the website for Immigration Service Delivery.
A printout from the calculator must be included in your application (together with any other evidence of residency) unless you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, Switzerland, or the European Economic Area (EEA), or you have refugee status in Ireland.
Generally speaking, proof of lawful residence that satisfies the residency criteria for Irish citizenship application is evidence that a person has registered with immigration. If you had reckonable residence immediately before the first extension of your immigration visa, you are eligible to consider the period that your immigration permission was immediately extended during COVID-19 as reckonable residence.
For instance, if you obtained a Stamp 4 in March 2020, the permissions associated with that Stamp were automatically extended until May 31 of the following year. This time period is included in the calculation of residency. You also need to provide evidence that you really resided in Ireland during this time period.
You are required to have “good character.” There is no legally complete definition of what ‘good character’ implies to be Irish citizen.
The Garda Sochána, which is the national police force of Ireland, will compile a report about your history. The Minister is provided with information about the following as part of this process:
- Your history with the legal system.
- Offences related to driving that you could have done
- Investigations that are still going on against you
- Pending criminal cases are those that have not yet been brought before a judge.
- You have been issued cautions or other warnings by the Garda, so please pay attention to them.
- Certain civil instances (such as if you were previously the subject of a banning order, for example)
On the application form, you will be asked to indicate whether or not any of the aforementioned apply to you, and you will be given the chance to describe the circumstances that led to the Garda investigation or court action. It is possible that a representative from the Citizenship division may get in touch with you at a later stage to request further information about your history in the state.
The Minister for Justice power to waive conditions
In the event that any of the following criteria are met, the Minister for Justice has the authority to waive one or more of the requirements for naturalisation:
- If you have Irish ancestry or are associated with the Irish in any way,
- If you are a parent or guardian and you are applying on behalf of a minor kid who has Irish ancestry or Irish links,
- If you are a parent who has been naturalised who is applying on behalf of a kid who is a minor.
- If you are married to or have a civil partnership with an Irish citizen or a naturalised person, you are eligible for certain benefits.
- If you have been living outside of the country while working for a government agency,
- If you have been recognized as a refugee (in accordance with the 1951 Geneva Convention pertaining to the Status of Refugees) or a stateless person (in accordance with the 1954 United Nations Convention respecting Stateless Persons), you may be eligible for asylum.
After three years of marriage or civil partnership and three years of reckonable presence on the island of Ireland, spouses and civil partners of Irish citizens are eligible to apply for naturalisation after meeting the residency requirements.
In most cases, the kid must have been a resident of Ireland for a minimum of three years in order for their parents to be granted Irish citizenship by naturalisation.
After three years of presence in the country, a person who has been granted refugee status is eligible to seek for Irish citizenship via the naturalisation process. The date of entry into the state is used as the starting point for determining residency. Please take note that those who have been granted subsidiary protection status are exempt from this requirement.
Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has recently implemented a scorecard system for evaluating one’s identity as foreign nationals and previous residences to get Irish citizenship. Because of this, you are able to make use of a greater range of papers, and you can be certain that you have sufficient documentation to provide together with your application.
You need to have a score of 150 or above in both the identity and residence categories. The Citizenship Guidance Document provides an explanation of the number of points you get for certain categories of documents.
If your application for naturalisation is going to be based on the fact that you are married to or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen, you are going to be required to bring in documentation that demonstrates your spouse’s citizenship of Ireland in addition to proof that you have been married for a period of three years.
Some of the papers that you are required to transmit must be authenticated as “true copies” by a commissioner for oaths, notary public, commissioner for peace, or solicitor, respectively.
When you are making your statutory declaration, you have the option of asking a lawyer to vouch for the authenticity of your papers. These are the following:
- Your birth certificate or foreign births register.
- If the application is based on marriage to an Irish citizen, you will need to provide the birth certificate of your spouse.
- If the application is based on your marriage to an Irish citizen, you must include a copy of either your marriage certificate or your certificate of civil partnership.
- Your passport
On the application form, you will find a comprehensive list of the materials that you are required to provide.
Make a declaration
You must make a statutory declaration before submitting the application form, together with any necessary supporting documentation. A statutory declaration is a kind of vow that verifies the truth of a statement. It is a written declaration that has to be signed in front of a witness who has been given permission to do so.
Your witness must be one of the following:
- an attorney
- an oath commissioner
- a public notary
- a commissioner for peace
A declaration is required from every adult candidate. Your Irish citizen spouse or civil partner must also submit a statement if your application is based on your marriage or civil partnership with an Irish citizen.
There will be a cost if you decide to have a solicitor witness your statutory declaration.
Additionally, you must request that your witness sign and date the backs of the two colour passport images that you are required to provide with your application.
Change of Address
If you relocate, you must inform ISD in writing. To do this, fill out a change of address form (pdf).
If Your Application is Successful
ISD will send you a letter informing you of the outcome of your application if it is accepted. You’ll be required to:
- Paying the Certification Fee.
- If you are from a nation other than the EEA, Switzerland, or the UK, provide your Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
If Your Application is Rejected
You will be informed of the reasons for the rejection of your application. You cannot challenge this judgement.
You may reapply if you’d like.
You might ask the High Court for a judicial review if you believe that ISD handled your application in an unfair manner. Prior to submitting an application to the court, you should get legal counsel.
How Can Total Law Help?
Through naturalisation, one must fulfil a number of requirements. The applicable application form must be filled out and submitted by the applicants.
For individuals who are unfamiliar with the regulations governing entitlements, this may be a complex process to follow, but we are here to help.
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