What is Irish Citizenship by Marriage?
Being married to an Irish national does not give foreign citizens such as a spouse or partner the automatic right to Irish citizenship.
When applying for Irish citizenship through marriage, civil partnerships, or other relationships, you will need to apply for naturalization.
Citizenship by naturalization allows you to become an Irish citizen through marriage or time spent in Ireland without being an Irish citizen by heritage.
Foreign nationals who are spouses, civil partners, and de facto partners of Irish nationals are just some of the individuals who can claim Irish citizenship by naturalization, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for naturalization based on time spent in the country, you must have been physically resident in the country for at least five years. Citizenship through marriage requires a shorter period of residency in Ireland than some other paths.
To apply for citizenship through marriage, civil partnership, or de facto partnership, you must have been in the relationship for at least three years and have at least three years of reckonable residence in Ireland.
There are other eligibility criteria that applicants must meet to gain citizenship, and who will be granted citizenship is ultimately decided by the Irish Immigration Service Delivery on behalf of the Minister for Justice.
Applicants must meet certain criteria to qualify, and if successful they can enjoy travel freedom throughout the EU in addition to other benefits held as Irish citizens.
If you are a US citizen in the process of pursuing Irish citizenship through marriage, contact Total Law for assistance.
If you want to apply for Irish citizenship through marriage or civil partnership, you must meet the following eligibility criteria set out by the Irish government:
- You must be 18 years old or over at the time of application
- You must have been married or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen for three years or more
- You must be living with your spouse or partner who is of Irish nationality in Ireland legally
- You must have resided in Ireland for at least three years out of 5 years prior to your application
- You must have continuous residence in Ireland for one year before the date of your application
- You must intend to continue to reside in Ireland after you become a citizen
- You must agree to make a declaration of fidelity to the nation of Ireland
- You must be determined to be of good character. This includes a lack of prior criminal record, pending criminal cases, or involvement with the Irish police force
Required documents may vary depending on your circumstances, but generally include:
- Completed application form
- Your original passport
- 4 standard passport-sized photos
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Civil partnership certificate
- Sufficient evidence of relationship with the Irish citizen
- Bank statements or other financial statements that show you have sufficient funds to support yourself without relying on state benefits
- Proof of continuous residence on the island of Ireland prior to application
- Proof of good character
An immigration officer may contact you during the application process to request additional documentation. In this case, you must respond to the immigration office by the deadline given so that your application is not delayed or rejected.
The Garda National Immigration Bureau has absolute discretion over final application decisions.
Documents that are not originally in English or Irish may be required to have certified translated copies made. Original documents will be returned to you by post. Copies will be kept by the immigration office.
How to Apply
To apply for Irish citizenship by virtue of your marriage or civil partnership, you must fill out the application form, gather your supporting documents, and send them to the Irish Immigration Service Delivery along with the required fees.
- First, check your eligibility to become an Irish citizen through marriage
- If you qualify for Irish naturalization, put together your supporting documentation
- Fill out Form 8 and provide evidence of your identity, nationality, and relationship
- Pay the application fee and certification fee
- After completing the application form, you must make a statutory declaration. Your Irish spouse or partner must also make a statutory declaration
- If your application is approved, you must attend the citizenship ceremony where you will make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the state of Ireland
- At the citizenship ceremony, you will receive your certificate of naturalization
- Once you have dual citizenship in Ireland and the US, you can then apply for your Irish passport
It can take 18-24 months to process a citizenship application. This time is measured from the date the Immigration Service Delivery receives the application, document, and application fee to when the decision is delivered to you.
In the event that you are missing documents or additional documents are requested, you may be given up to 28 days to provide them. If you fail to provide them by the deadline, your application may be delayed or refused.
Confirm that your application is complete and correct prior to submission. This is the best way to ensure that your application for citizenship is processed in the quickest window of time.
Costs and Fees
Costs and fees incurred during the process of pursuing citizenship in Ireland can vary. The primary costs associated with obtaining citizenship are:
- At the time of application, you will be required to pay a fee of approximately $187 USD.
- If your application is approved, the certificate of naturalization will cost approximately $1,015 USD.
You may have additional costs and fees when applying for Irish citizenship through marriage depending on your individual circumstances.
Reasons For Denial
Applications for citizenship in Ireland may be denied for a variety of reasons, including:
- Being unable to provide adequate evidence of the relationship between the Irish resident spouse or partner and the applicant.
- Being unable to prove the ability to provide financial support by the spouse or partner.
- Certain situations in which it is determined that the spouse/ partner or foreign national applicant is a criminal or health risk to the state of Ireland.
In the event that your citizenship application is denied, you will receive a letter with the reason for the decision. If your Irish citizenship application was recently denied, contact Total Law for help to appeal or re-apply.
How Can Total Law Help?
With Total Law, immigration services are provided by our team of professional immigration lawyers. Your advisor will ensure your documentation package is correct and that your citizenship application has the best chance of being approved.
Your Total Law advisor will provide you with further advice to pursue Irish naturalization.
For further information, contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or use our online contact form to get in touch with our team of qualified immigration lawyers.
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You are not required to obtain a lawyer in order to apply for Irish citizenship through marriage, but many applicants choose to use one to navigate the process. Applying for Irish citizenship can be a challenging process. The citizenship application process is more complicated than applying for a visa. Residency requirements can be complex. A qualified immigration professional can assess that you meet the required criteria, gather documents, make a declaration, and more. It can be helpful to have professionals with expertise in Irish law by your side to help with each aspect of the citizenship application process.
Citizenship ceremonies are required for all foreign nationals who will become Irish citizen. Typically at the citizenship ceremony, you will receive your certificate of naturalization. In the event that you are exempt from the citizenship ceremony, you will receive your final documentation by post.
When you apply for Irish citizenship, you will not receive an Irish passport automatically. You must first be granted citizenship and attend a citizenship ceremony to receive your certificate of naturalization. Once your immigration status is updated, you can apply for an Irish passport. It may take a few weeks to receive your original documents back from your citizenship application in order to apply for a passport.
No. Marriage or civil partnership with an Irish national does not give you the automatic right to citizenship in Ireland. You must meet eligibility requirements for naturalization, apply, and be approved by the immigration office.