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Citizenship by Descent in Ireland

Citizenship by Descent in Ireland

If you are related to an Irish citizen, then you may be entitled to apply for citizenship by descent in Ireland. In order to have this right, you will still have to comply with certain requirements – first of all, you will need to prove that either parent had Irish citizenship at the moment of your birth or to prove that you have Irish grandparents. If you have other types of relatives in Ireland – such as uncles, aunts and others, you will not be able to obtain the Irish citizenship.

If you need information on how to obtain the Irish citizenship, you can verify the regulations prescribed by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts, or you can simply address to our immigration lawyer in Ireland for in-depth legal advice and legal representation. Below, you can read a basic presentation regarding this subject. We can also assist if you want to apply for a residence permit in Ireland.

What is the law on citizenship by descent in Ireland in 2023?

One can apply for citizenship by descent in the case in which the person was born outside Ireland and has close family ties with Irish nationals, through his or her parents or grandparents. An important step that has to be concluded by this category of persons is to register with the Foreign Births Register, which falls under the supervision of the Department of Justice.

The main regulations regarding the right to citizenship by descent in Ireland are prescribed under the Section 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1958, which can be detailed by our immigration lawyer. Please mind that if you were born outside Ireland or in Ireland from at least one parent who had Irish nationality at the moment of your birth, you will be entitled to receive the citizenship by descent.

As a general rule, children born on the Irish territory used to be entitled to automatically receive the Irish nationality due to the place of birth, but the legislation on immigration to Ireland was modified in 2005, and the main amendment was that not all children will be entitled to receive Irish nationality simply because they were born here.

Instead, the right to citizenship for children born on the Irish territory is decided based on the residence of the parent (or parents) and their nationality. Thus, all children who have a parent with Irish citizenship will have the right to claim the Irish nationality.

This right is also extended for those who have Irish grandparents; this is applicable to all persons who can prove that their grandparents were Irish citizens or citizens of Northern Ireland. Although Northern Ireland represents a separate, sovereign country, it is included here due to the fact that both Ireland and Northern Ireland have common ancestry and for nationality matters, persons related to Northern Ireland citizens can claim the Irish nationality when moving to Ireland.

In the case of a child who did not have the right to obtain Irish citizenship when they were born on the Irish territory after 2005, the application must be done separately following the rules of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act.

This is done by completing and submitting the Form 11. If you apply in 2023, please mind that you will be asked to pay a fee of EUR 200. The fee will be charged for the issuance of the citizenship certificate, and it is payable only for successful applications.

If you start the application in 2023 and the child has an age above 16 years old at the moment when the application is made, the application will be vetted by the National Vetting Bureau.

In the application, it is necessary to show evidence on the reckonable residency in Ireland. Thus, if the application is made in 2023, 8 years of residency must be proven before this year, while the 4 years before the application have to be of full residency in Ireland.

One can also obtain citizenship through the Irish investor visa.

What is the data on persons with Irish citizenship?

Persons with Irish citizenship can be met across the world; outside those who are currently citizens of the country, living in Ireland, a vast majority of persons with Irish ancestry lives in the United States of America and this particular category of persons can easily claim the citizenship by descent in Ireland. Below, you can find out few highlights on persons with Irish nationality:

  • in 2011, there were 3,927,143 persons with Irish nationality, while in the 2016 Census, the number increased to 4,082,513 persons;
  • from all these, persons who only had the Irish nationality (as a single citizenship) accounted for 3,871,238 persons in 2011 and in 2016, it increased at 3,977,729 persons;
  • persons with dual citizenship in Ireland accounted for 55,905 in 2011, while in 2016, it doubled to 104,784;
  • in 2016, the data gathered by the Irish Central Statistics Office revealed that there were 10,449 persons with Irish nationality who were born in the Philippines;
  • the largest population with a non-Irish background is represented by nationals of Poland who moved to Ireland – in 2016, after the Irish population, the Polish citizens accounted for 122,513 persons.

According to the law on immigration in Ireland, you can apply for citizenship by descent in the case in which you are the child of a person who was born in Ireland prior to 31st December 2004 and you were born outside Ireland; then, you will definitely be entitled to receive the citizenship; please address to our immigration lawyer in Ireland for more information.

There are more complex stipulations regarding citizenship based on your ancestry and the tie with Irish generations of persons, and this is why we invite you to contact our immigration lawyer in Ireland for a more detailed presentation regarding all legal scenarios that can lead to citizenship by descent.

Persons who are not related to Irish nationals can still become citizens through other procedures. For instance, they can do so if they obtain permanent residence in Ireland.

Permanent residence can be obtained by those who work in this country in most of the situations, but also based on family reunification visas and other legal grounds regulated by the immigration law.

In the case of those who will apply for citizenship in Ireland based on their residency, the rules for citizenship by naturalization will apply. Applicants will be required to pay a processing fee that is nonrefundable.

Please mind that the application can be refused due to various reasons and if so, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision or to re-apply for citizenship.