- What is an Irish Citizenship?
- What is Irish Citizenship by Naturalization?
- Application Form for Citizenship
- Required Documents for Citizenship Application
- Irish Citizenship through Marriage or Civil Partnership
- Citizenship by Birth or Descent
- Irish Citizenship by Descent
- Application Process
- Irish Citizenship Ceremony
- Application Fee
- Citizenship Application Processing Time
- How can Total Law help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Irish Citizenship?
Irish Citizenship is the final step of your immigration journey as a foreign national in Ireland. Once you have become an Irish citizen, you are entitled to enjoy full State freedoms without restrictions, and you are also eligible to apply for an Irish Passport.
There are several ways you can get Irish citizenship, as long as you meet certain conditions and requirements. Citizenship by naturalization is the most common route foreign nationals take toward Irish citizenship. However, before you can get Irish citizenship by naturalization, you need to meet a certain number of requirements to be eligible for it.
The most important requirement is that the applicant must have spent at least five years living lawfully in Ireland in a reckonable residence. Under certain circumstances, they also consider three years of reckonable residence to get citizenship by naturalization.
Other routes to take towards citizenship include citizenship by birth and descent, which are for those with Irish ancestry.
Eligibility Criteria for Citizenship by Naturalization
There are conditions foreign nationals must meet to be eligible for Irish nationality and citizenship:
- You must have lived in Ireland legally for a specific number of years.
- You must be at least 18-years-old to apply for citizenship. However, you can apply for citizenship if you are married and are under 18.
- You must be of good character.
- You must declare loyalty to Ireland and your commitment to honor and observe the rule of law in the State and its democratic values in the official citizenship ceremony.
Good Character Requirements
To be eligible for an Irish nationality and citizenship, the Department of Justice & Equality must certify that you are of good character. If you have any criminal record or ongoing criminal proceedings, it will be taken into account, and you must disclose details of any proceedings in your application form. Your Irish citizenship application may be rejected if you have breached any conditions of the stamp/visa/permit you live under. Your application will also be rejected if you live in Ireland illegally.
Before applying for Irish citizenship, you need to have lawfully lived in Ireland for some years to be eligible for citizenship. Usually, five years is considered for the reckonable residence.
If you are a non-EEA national, some periods of your stay in Ireland might not be counted as part of your reckonable residence. For example, if you have stayed in Ireland under a short stay ‘C’ tourism visa, it won’t be counted as a reckonable residence. However, for EEA and Swiss nationals, it will be counted as reckonable residence irrespective of your reason for travelling to Ireland.
Both non-EEA nationals (aka Canadian citizens) and EEA and Swiss nationals need to meet the following criteria:
- You must have legally resided in Ireland for five of the previous nine years.
- You must have legally lived in Ireland for one year of continuous residence immediately before your application, which is included in the five years.
Those who have Irish associations, like the refugees and spouse/civil partner of Irish citizens, can apply for citizenship if they have lived in Ireland under reckonable residence for three years and fulfill other requirements.
You can reach the required timeframe for reckonable residence through some specific residency routes like:
- Stamp 1
- Stamp 1G
- Stamp 3
- Stamp 4
- Stamp 5
Application Form for Citizenship
The application form you fill out depends on your route toward Irish nationality and citizenship. However, there are four different application forms:
- Application Form 8 for standard adult application, including young adults
- Application Form 9 for an application completed by a naturalized Irish parent on behalf of a minor
- Application Form 10 for an application completed on behalf of a minor of Irish descent
- Application Form 11 for an application on behalf of a minor born in the State from 1st January 2005 who is not entitled to Irish citizenship by birth
Required Documents for Citizenship Application
The specific documents needed when applying for citizenship depend on the applicant’s circumstances and the route they take towards applying for citizenship by naturalization. However, application Form 8 is the standard form for adult Irish citizenship applications. The documents you will need are as follows:
- Your current original passport
- A copy of the biometric page of your valid passport
- All passports which have been held from the date of your arrival in Ireland, including biometric pages and all pages containing immigration and permission stamps
- Two recent color passport-sized photographs with the date and your signature on the back of each
- A certified copy of your birth certificate
- A certified copy of your current in-date Irish Residence Permit/Garda National Immigration Bureau Card
- A copy of permission to remain letters issued by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
- Copy of completed online residency checker
- Copies of bank statements for all of your bank account for at least three of the previous six months.
- A letter from your current employer showing the date you started employment
- Copies of three payslips from within the last six months and a copy of your P60 or a tax statement from the Revenue Commissioners for each year of residence
- A certified copy of your marriage/civil partnership certificate, if applicable.
Applicants from EEA/Swiss countries who had lived in Ireland without a visa will need to provide proof of residency documents to verify they have lived in Ireland for the number of years required.
Irish Citizenship through Marriage or Civil Partnership
Marriage/civil is one of the quickest routes to citizenship by naturalization.
Citizenship by marriage allows the spouse/civil partner of an Irish citizen to apply for citizenship after three years of lawful living in Ireland. In essence, you must have been lawfully living in Ireland for at least three of the previous five years, which includes 1 year of continuous residence in the year directly before the date of your application.
You will need to complete Application Form 8 and submit the documents listed above to apply through this route. You will also need to include a certified copy of your marriage/civil partnership certificate in your documents when applying.
To be eligible for Irish nationality and citizenship based on marriage/civil partnership with an Irish citizen, you need to meet certain requirements:
- You must be at least 18 or over at the time of applying for citizenship
- You must have been married to, or in a civil partnership, with an Irish citizen for at least 3 years.
- You must have lived together with your civil partner for at least three years.
- You must be able to provide three different proofs of residence documents showing your name and address for each year you have lived in Ireland.
Citizenship Application for a non-EU/EEA/Swiss Dependant Young Adult
If you are applying for citizenship as a dependent young adult, you will need to complete the Application Form 8 and submit the documents described above, including a letter from your college stating your registration date and attendance. To be considered a dependent child, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be aged between 18-23 when they apply.
- You must have entered Ireland legally as part of a family unit.
- Currently attending secondary school in the country, or went directly from secondary school into third-level education.
- Not financially independent and continuously dependent on your parents
Citizenship by Birth or Descent
Citizenship by birth or descent allows you to be eligible for citizenship by birth or descent, even if you were not born in Ireland under certain circumstances.
Eligibility Criteria for Citizenship by Birth
You become eligible for citizenship by birth under certain circumstances, which follows:
- Born on the island of Ireland before 1st January 2005
- Born in Ireland after 1st January 2005, and at least one parent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.
- Born on the island of Ireland on or after 1st January 2005, at least one parent is British or is entitled to live in Northern Ireland or Ireland without restrictions.
- A child born in Ireland on or after 1st January 2005 to a parent who was granted refugee status
However, you are not automatically entitled to Irish citizenship if you were born in Ireland after 1st January 2005 to foreign national parents.
To be eligible for citizenship by birth, at least one of your parents must prove that they have/had lived in Ireland for 3 of the previous 4 years as reckonable residence immediately before the birth.
Irish Citizenship by Descent
If you are not born in Ireland and do not live in Ireland, you could be eligible for citizenship by descent.
There are analogies that qualify you to apply for Irish citizenship. These are:
- You are eligible to apply for citizenship by descent if either of your parents was born in Ireland and was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.
- You may be entitled to Irish citizenship if you were born outside of Ireland and one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth and was born outside of Ireland.
- You are eligible to apply for Irish Citizenship if your parent was deceased at the time of your birth but would have been an Irish citizen if they were alive at that time.
- You may be eligible for Irish nationality if one of your grandparents was born in Ireland, regardless of where your parents were born. However, you may not be able to claim Irish Citizenship further in your ancestry than your grandparents or ties to any other family relation other than your parents are grandparents.
- You also automatically become an Irish citizen if you were adopted by an Irish citizen or a couple where one of the guardians was an Irish citizen.
Registering a Birth on the Foreign Births Register
If you are applying for Irish Citizenship through descent, you may need to register your birth in the Foreign Births Register.
You can decide to register births on the Foreign Births Register for yourself and a dependent child.
The application fee differs, €278 for adults and €158 for children.
To apply, you will need to provide the following documents:
- The original birth certificate, which shows your parent’s details
- Certified photocopy of current identification, such as passport or driving license of your descent.
- Certified photocopy of identification such as passport or driving license
- Two proofs of address
- Original civil birth certificate of person you are basing application on
- Original marriage certificate or change of name document (if applicable)
Application Process for Irish Citizenship
When applying for Irish citizenship, the first step is establishing your route towards citizenship, after which you can then further your application process. The application process is as follows:
- Fill in the relevant application form.
- Gather all the required documentation together. The documents you are to submit are dependent on the citizenship route through which you are applying and your particular circumstances.
- Send in your application with your documents to the relevant application office.
- Once your application is received and successful, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony, while those who applied for citizenship through the descent of a grandparent or through one of their parents being an Irish citizen at the time of their birth are to register their birth with the Foreign Births Register.
When applying for Irish citizenship, you will need to pay some fees.
The cost for an Irish citizenship application is €175. This fee is non-refundable regardless of the reason.
Once your application is accepted, you will need to pay for your official Certificate of Naturalisation. The fees for this certificate are as follows:
- Adults: €950
- Minor: €200
- Widow, Widower, or Surviving Civil Partner of Irish citizen: €200
- Recognized refugee or stateless person: €0
The payment for citizenship application and Official Certificate of Naturalization must be done in an Irish bank and made payable to the Secretary-General, Department of Justice & Equality.
Irish Citizenship Ceremony
The citizenship ceremony is the final step of your naturalization and citizenship process. Once your application process has been received, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony.
You will need to make a formal declaration of fidelity and loyalty to the Republic of Ireland at the ceremony.
You will receive an invitation to your ceremony at least a month before the ceremony is due.
Citizenship Application Processing Time
Applicants are to expect a decision within six months from their application date.
Depending on your circumstances and application route, the processing time could be longer.
The Irish immigration officials will check that you have completed the correct application form, completed the statutory declarations, paid the application fee, and submitted all required documentation during processing. An incomplete application may cause a delay.
How can Total Law help?
Total Law’s excellent immigration lawyers are vastly experienced in dealing with Irish citizenship applications and providing advice and support to smooth your application process.
Our immigration lawyers will help you determine if the exam visa is right for you and that you meet the eligibility criteria, help you gather the supporting documents to ensure there are no delays or denials, and help you file an appeal should your application be denied.
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During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
Your Irish citizenship can be revoked under certain circumstances. These circumstances include:
- If the Certificate of Naturalisation was granted with fraud, whether intentionally or innocently.
- If you have failed in your duty of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State
- If your citizenship has been ordinarily resident outside of Ireland for a continuous period of seven years and you have not made official declarations of your intention to retain Irish citizenship. However, this does not apply to public services workers.
- If you are also a citizen of a country that is at war with Ireland
- If you have voluntarily acquired another citizenship by means other than marriage
If your application was refused, you would be sent a notification for rejection reasons. However, you are not permitted to appeal your application fee will not be refunded, but you can apply for citizenship by naturalization again if you wish.