Dual Irish citizenship
Dual Irish citizenship is permitted by the Irish government. This means that Irish citizens can obtain their Irish citizenship if they obtain citizenship of another country and that a citizen of another country can retain their original citizenship if they become Irish citizens.
Dual Irish citizens are entitled to the same rights as any other Irish citizen but will also have the citizenship rights of another country. A benefit to this can include being able to live in multiple countries without immigration restrictions.
As a dual Irish citizen, you are not only recognised as a national of Ireland, you are also recognised as a citizen of the European Union.
One of the main benefits of obtaining Irish citizenship is that you will have the right to free movement within the European Union. Brexit has meant that British citizens no longer have this right, so obtaining dual Irish citizenship has become a sought after way to regain free movement rights.
Who is eligible for dual citizenship?
To be eligible for dual Irish citizenship you must eligible for Irish citizenship and the government of the other country you are a citizen of must also permit dual citizenship.
If dual citizenship is not permitted in the other country then you will have to renounce your citizenship of that country to become an Irish citizen.
Whether you are eligible for or entitled to Irish citizenship depends on several different factors.
You could be an Irish citizen by birth if you were born in Ireland, if you were adopted in Ireland or if you were born outside Ireland but one of your parents was born in Ireland and is entitled to Irish citizenship.
If you were not automatically entitled to Irish citizenship by birth there are other ways that you can become an Irish citizen.
Irish citizenship by descent
If you are not entitled to Irish citizenship by birth then you could still be eligible to claim Irish citizenship by descent using the Foreign Births Register.
You could be eligible to claim citizenship using this route if you have a parent who was born outside Ireland but was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth or if neither of your parents were born in Ireland but you have an Irish born grandparent.
For you to be eligible for citizenship by descent your qualifying Irish parent or grandparent must have held or been entitled to Irish citizenship at the time of your birth.
In some cases you can also be entitled to Irish citizenship by descent through a great grandparent. Applications for citizenship by descent that go back further than a great grandparent are usually refused.
Irish citizenship by naturalisation
Those who are not eligible for citizenship by birth or descent can still become an Irish citizen through the process of naturalisation.
You could be eligible to apply for Irish naturalisation if:
- You are over the age of 18
- You meet the good character requirement
- Have at least 1 year of continuous reckonable residence in Ireland immediately before the date of your application
- Have at least 4 years of reckonable residence in the 8 years before that
The spouses of Irish nationals can also be eligible for naturalisation although the requirements for Irish citizenship by marriage vary slightly. To qualify you must have been married for at least 3 years and you must have lived in Ireland for at least 3 out of the 5 years before your application.
How to apply for dual Irish citizenship
There is no application process for dual citizenship itself. If you become an Irish citizen and the country of your other citizenship permits dual citizenship then you will automatically be classed as a dual citizen. This means that to apply for dual Irish citizenship you simply need to become an Irish citizen.
How you obtain Irish citizenship depends on the route you use to apply for claim.
If you are applying to naturalise as an Irish citizen then you can do this online by completing and submitting the naturalisation application form. As well as completing the application form you will also need to submit your supporting documents, what you will need to submit varies depending on your circumstances but will generally include documents such as your current passport, your birth certificate and other evidence that you meet the requirements.
If you are applying for Irish citizenship by descent then you will need to use the process known as Foreign Birth Registration. You can apply for this online and will also need to submit a number of documents, including documents related to your Irish grandparent or parents such as birth certificates, death certificates and marriage certificates.
Can an Irish citizen living abroad obtain dual citizenship?
Whether an Irish citizen who lives abroad can obtain dual citizenship depends on the rules of the foreign country they are living in. If the foreign country permits dual citizenship and the Irish citizen is eligible for citizenship in that country then they can become a dual citizen.
If an Irish citizen wishes to obtain citizenship in a country that does not permit dual citizenship then they may have to renounce their Irish citizenship to be able to do this. You can renounce your Irish citizenship by making a declaration or alienage.
To be able to renounce your Irish citizenship you must be over the age of 18, living outside of Ireland and be in the process of applying for another nationality.
Applying for an Irish passport
As a dual Irish citizen you will be entitled to an Irish passport. An Irish passport is very powerful, it allows you visa-free access to over 188 countries across the world and it allows you to live and work freely in the European Union. As well as being used to travel in and out of the country, your Irish passport can also be used to demonstrate your Irish nationality status.
There are three ways that you can apply for an Irish passport. You can either use the Passport Online Service, apply at a post office using the Passport Express Service or apply in person at an Irish Embassy or Consulate’s passport counter.
It is recommended that you use the Passport Online Service as this is the quickest and cheapest way to complete your passport application.
How can Total Law help?
Both naturalisation and Foreign Birth Registration are complex processes that can be difficult to get right. Our immigration lawyers are here to make your Irish citizenship journey easier by guiding you through the process.
We can assess whether you are eligible for Irish citizenship and can offer you professional legal advice about your citizenship options. Our lawyers are knowledgeable about global immigration law, we can check whether dual citizenship is permitted in your other chosen country.
If you are eligible for Irish citizenship then our lawyers will be there to offer their support throughout the entire application process, we can assist you with the required application forms and we can also help you to gather all of the required documents for your application.
Our lawyers will ensure that your application has the best chance of success. For further information about our Irish citizenship services, get in touch with our team today on (+353) 061 518 025.
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Yes, both Ireland and the United States permit dual citizenship so you can hold Irish and U.S. citizenship simultaneously.
Yes, both Ireland and the UK permit dual citizenship so you can hold Irish and British citizenship simultaneously.
Yes, if you are a British and Irish citizen then you may be eligible to hold both a British and Irish passport. As a British citizen you will need to provide evidence of your claim to Irish citizenship in order to apply for your Irish passport.