- Overview of Irish Citizenship by Naturalisation
- Requirements for Irish citizenship through marriage
- How to apply for Irish citizenship through marriage
- Documents for Irish citizenship through marriage
- Citizenship fee for the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen
- Processing time
- How Total Law can help
- Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of Irish Citizenship by Naturalisation
Irish Citizenship by Naturalisation is a process to obtain Irish citizenship. If you cannot become an Irish citizen by birth (Irish citizen parent) or descent (Irish born grandparent), you may become a naturalised Irish citizen through marriage or time spent in the country.
Spouses and civil partners of Irish nationals are some of the individuals who can claim Irish citizenship by naturalisation. To qualify for naturalisation, you must have been physically resident in the country for at least five years.
Citizenship through marriage requires a shorter period of residency on the Island of Ireland. To apply for citizenship through marriage or civil partnership, you must have been married or in the civil partnership for at least three years and have at least three years of reckonable residence in Ireland.
Please note that being married to an Irish national does make a foreign spouse or partner automatically entitled to Irish citizenship. There are other criteria they must meet, and the decisions are up to Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) on behalf of the Minister for Justice.
Our immigration lawyers can advise you or help you prepare a high-quality application. Call us today on (+353) 061 518 025 or contact us online via live chat.
Requirements to apply for Irish citizenship through marriage
If you want to apply for Irish citizenship through marriage, you should meet the following criteria:
- You are 18 years old or over
- You have been married or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen for three years or more.
- You have been (and are still) living with your Irish citizen spouse or partner.
- You have resided in Ireland for at least three years out of 5 years before you apply.
- You have lived in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland continuously for one year before the date of your application.
- You intend to reside in Ireland after you become a citizen, which will include making a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the Irish state
- You are of good character. To meet this criterion, Irish immigration may look into:
- Your criminal record
- Investigations against you
- Pending criminal cases
- Cautions or other warnings you have received from the Irish police force
How to apply for Irish citizenship through marriage
To apply for Irish citizenship by virtue of your marriage or civil partnership, you are to fill out the application form, gather supporting documents, and send them to ISD along with the fees.
Before starting anything, ensure that you qualify to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation. Check the requirements listed on this page to determine if you are eligible. The Minister of Justice can waive one or more conditions for those with Irish associations, such as a spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen or naturalised person, but don’t count on that. You can reach out to us for advice by calling (+353) 061 518 025.
Fill out Form 8 and put together your supporting documentation; you are to provide evidence of your identity, nationality, relationship, and other supporting evidence.
After completing the application form, you should make a statutory declaration. That is a written statement swearing something is true and witnessed by someone authorised to witness it. That person can be a solicitor, commissioner for oaths, notary public, or peace commissioner. Your Irish spouse or partner must also make a declaration.
Immigration Service Delivery uses a scorecard system that gives you points based on your identification and residence history. You must score at least 150 points in both identification and residency. Each document type you provide may give you some points; for example, proof of mortgage payment as a spouse of an Irish citizen gives you 50 points.
If your application is approved, you are to attend the citizenship ceremony where you are to make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the state. Also, you will declare that you will observe the laws of Ireland and respect its democratic values.
Documents for Irish citizenship through marriage
Here are some of the documents for Irish citizenship through marriage:
- Proof of your identity and nationality, such as your birth certificate and original passport
- You can send a photocopy of your passport, but the photocopy must be certified by a solicitor, commissioner for oaths or notary public.
- Include original or photocopies of previous passports
- Proof of relationship with the Irish citizen, such as civil partnership or marriage certificate
- Evidence that your partner is an Irish citizen, such as their birth certificate or naturalisation certification
- Proof you are living in Ireland, such as evidence of mortgage or rent payments
You will need to get some of the documents certified as true copies by a solicitor, notary, commissioner for oaths or a peace commissioner. Those include your and your partner’s birth certificates, your marriage or civil partnership certificate, and your passport.
Also, you must send a tax clearance certificate. You can apply for one online if you have worked in Ireland. If you haven’t, you must include a note in your application, stating your reason for being unable to provide a tax clearance certificate.
Fee for citizenship for the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen
The application fee for Irish citizenship through marriage is €175. This payment is to be made through a banker’s draft, which should be submitted by post with your application. The draft must be drawn on an Irish bank and made payable to the Secretary-General, Department of Justice.
If your application to become a citizen of the Republic of Ireland is approved, you must pay €950 or €200 to receive your Certificate of Naturalisation. €950 is the fee for spouses and civil partners of Irish citizens, while €200 is for Widows, Widowers or Surviving Civil Partners of Irish citizens.
There are no exceptions to the fees for those applying for Irish nationality by marriage, and if your application is rejected, the fee won’t be refunded.
It takes approximately 23 months to process a quality application from the date ISD receives the application, document, and application fee.
If you don’t submit all the necessary documents, you may be given up to 28 days to provide them. If you fail to provide them after that, your application may be refused or considered ineligible.
You should ensure your application is complete and correct, and submit all the documents and evidence that will help your case. One way to ensure all aspects are looked at to maximise your chances is taking the services of an immigration lawyer. Call us at (+353) 061 518 025 or reach out to us through live chat to discuss.
Applying for Irish citizenship can be a challenging process. It is more complicated than applying for an Irish visa. You have to calculate if you qualify for reckonable residence, assess that you meet other criteria, gather documents, make a declaration, and more. It helps a huge deal to have Irish immigration lawyers, with expertise in Irish law, by your side to help with each aspect of the citizenship application. We can help you.
At Total Law, we provide immigration services that are particular about each stage in the citizenship application process to ensure you have a high chance of success. When you decide to go with us, you will get a dedicated immigration lawyer to assess your eligibility for citizenship before starting an application. That ensures you don’t spend money on an application if you are not eligible; in such a case, we will also advise on other options if that is the case.
When we have ascertained that you are eligible for Irish citizenship through marriage, we will prepare a high-standard application and submit it on your behalf. Also, we will liaise with Irish immigration on your behalf and share any updates with you along the way.
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It depends. During the process of applying and accepting Irish citizenship, you have declared that you intend to reside in the state after naturalisation. If you move away from Ireland after your application is successful, you must complete Form 5, which states you want to retain Irish citizenship while temporarily residing abroad.
Reckonable residence means time in Ireland that counts towards eligibility to apply for naturalisation. When applying for Irish citizenship based on your marriage or civil partnership, you must have three years of reckonable residence in the last five years.
If you are a non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss national, certain periods are counted towards the reckonable residence. They include:
- Time in Ireland on an employment permit (Stamp 1)
- Time on a Stamp 4
- Time as the dependent of a legal resident or an employment permit holder (Stamp 3)
- The period spent as the spouse or partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or researcher.
- Time on a Stamp 5
If the visa or permit you held were any of the following, your time doesn’t count:
- Student visa (Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A IRP) unless you apply as a “young adult”
- Trainee accountant (with Stamp 1A)
- Third Level Graduate Scheme
- Undocumented resident, stateless person or refugee
When holding an immigration stamp that qualifies, you must not leave Ireland for more than six weeks in one year, else that year will not count towards reckonable residence. If you leave Ireland for longer than six weeks due to an emergency, you should explain your circumstances in an application. If the six weeks are in the year before your application date, you have to wait till the following year to apply because the year of your application must be one year of continuous residence.
Your reckonable residence requirement for citizenship is specifically 1095 or 1096 days based on your permission stamps that qualify. This includes one year of continuous residence immediately before you apply.
Only Irish citizens can get an Irish passport. So, the first step is applying for Irish citizenship by naturalisation through marriage. If you are eligible for Irish citizenship by birth or Irish descent, you can apply through those routes instead.
After obtaining your citizenship, you can apply for your Irish passport online, post, or in person. If you are applying online, you should do so through Passport Online. For application by post, submit through Passport Express, and an application made in person should be submitted through the Passport Office’s counter service.
When applying for an Irish passport, you may be required to complete an identity verification form, then get the form signed and witnessed by a Garda (an Irish police officer). Also, you are to provide the following:
- Recent passport photographs
- Marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Proof of address (mortgage, rent, utility bill payment receipts or contracts)
- Evidence of name (birth certificate, a copy of your Public Services Card, government-issued photo identification document, etc.)
Please call (+353) 061 518 025 today for more information or assistance.