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Obtain Irish Citizenship by Marriage

Obtain Irish Citizenship by Marriage

Irish citizenship by marriage is possible in Ireland, under the national immigration laws regarding naturalization, which represents the process through which a foreigner who is not related to an Irish citizen or born in Ireland or from Irish parents can become a local citizen. Below, you can find a presentation on this matter.

The legal procedure through which this can be attained is done following the national laws for naturalization, the main difference being that a foreigner who is married with an Irish national can obtain the citizenship few years earlier than in other cases. If you want to know more on this subject, our team of immigration lawyers in Ireland invites you to read this article.

Naturalization is the process through which a foreigner who is the holder of a permanent residence permit in Ireland can apply for citizenship, if other conditions outside residency are met.

The rules vary based on the type of naturalization the person applies for (citizenship by naturalization just based on residency and naturalization by marriage have different rules and conditions).

Even the fees for the issuance of citizenship in Ireland by naturalization and citizenship by marriage differ.

The application fee is the same regardless of the type of citizenship the foreigner qualifies for, but the issuance of a naturalization certificate costs EUR 950, while for naturalization by marriage the fee is of only EUR 200 (the same fee is charged to widows).

What are the requirements for obtaining Irish citizenship by marriage in 2023?

In order to be able to apply for Irish citizenship under these circumstances, you must make the proof of having a relationship with an Irish citizen. The relationship must be validated by a certificate, which means that the applicant must be either legally married with the Irish citizen or in a civil partnership.

 Quick Facts 
  Legal pathway for Irish citizenship by marriage

Naturalization rules apply

Evidence of a marriage certificate required(yes/no)  


The place where the application must be made

 In Ireland
Minimum residency requirements for the applicant 

3 years 

Minimum marriage duration for valid applications In order to qualify for Irish citizenship by marriage, the applicant must be married to the Irish national
for minimum 3 years. 
Minimum age requirements 


One can apply at the age of minimum 18 years old.  
Law applicable for
citizenship by marriage 


Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.
Institution in charge with the citizenship application Minister of Justice
Citizenship by marriage through civil partnership allowed   Yes 
Law on civil partnerships
in Ireland 
Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and
Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010
Residency rules for
EEA citizens 
Basic requirements (showing evidence on their residency history in Ireland).
Residency rules for
non-EEA citizens 
Non-EEA citizens must show documents attesting their legal residency in Ireland, as well having “reckonable residence” (they must obtain minimum 150 points in a points-based system).  
Documents to submit for the application The passport, the birth certificate, all the immigration documents obtained for lawful residence in Ireland, valid documents attesting the marriage/civil partnership, the application form, divorce papers (for applicants who were previously married), the partner’s identity documents (identity card, passport, documents attesting his or her Irish citizenship). 
Form to submit for citizenship by marriage Application for Irish citizenship by marriage is completed
through the Form 8. 
Citizenship interview obligations (yes/no)    Yes

This implies that simply being in a relationship with an Irish national will not be of help in the process of obtaining citizenship. In the list below, you can discover few of the basic requirements that you should meet. Please mind that you must be in Ireland (or in Northern Ireland) at the moment when the application is made:

  • you have an age of at least 18 years old at the moment of the application;
  • you have been married/in a civil partnership with your Irish spouse for at least 3 years;
  • you have been living in Ireland for minimum 3 years prior to the application (for other citizenship applicants the required stay in Ireland is of 5 years);
  • please mind that you must have been living on a continuous basis in Ireland in the last 12 months before the application;
  • the basic rules for gaining Irish citizenship by marriage, which is a naturalization process, are given by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.

What is the process for obtaining Irish citizenship by marriage in 2023?

The Irish immigration law prescribes the legal steps that have to be taken by applicants interested in obtaining citizenship. In this case, as well as in others, the applicant must first verify if he or she is qualified to apply for citizenship. If you are not sure, you can always send your inquiry to our immigration lawyers in Ireland.

If you do qualify, then you can start preparing the documents and submit the necessary forms. The documents will be then sent to the Immigration Service Delivery, a service which operates under the Irish Department of Justice. It is necessary to know that the institution has full rights in deciding on whether a person can receive the Irish citizenship or not.

It is also worth knowing that there can appear different immigration procedures based on the nationality of the foreigner who has married an Irish national. Thus, the Irish immigration law distinguishes between EEA and non-EEA nationals. The latter have to comply with more rules. In this sense, it is important to be aware that non-EEA nationals who have married Irish citizens will need to obtain an approval to migrate to Ireland, as the marriage itself does not automatically grant the right to moving here.

The same applies for persons who are married under a civil partnership. The rules they must follow are prescribed by the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010. However, if you were granted with the right to residency in Ireland, then you will be entitled to apply for Irish citizenship by marriage if you satisfy the rest of the conditions imposed by the local law.

Please take into consideration that, at the moment when the application is made, you must prove that you already live with your spouse/partner; besides this, you must be considered of good character under the Irish immigration rules and you must also make a declaration of fidelity to the Irish state, by showing the commitment towards living, working and being a part of the Irish society.

How to obtain permission to reside in Ireland

If you are the partner or spouse of an Irish citizen and you want to live in Ireland, you must first obtain the approval for living here, as long as you are citizen of country outside the European Economic Area (EEA). For this, you must complete an application form and submit numerous documents showing your relation with the Irish national.

The application must be done in writing, and then submitted to the Immigration Delivery Service. For this particular case, it is required to complete a form named Spouse/Civil Partner of an Irish National Application Form. This document, along with the documents listed below, will open the pathway to residence in Ireland and to Irish citizenship by marriage, in the following years, if all other conditions are met.

The law on immigration in Ireland states that the foreigner who is in this particular situation must address to the above mentioned institution and send the documents in Dublin, where the institution has its official headquarters. In the application form, the local institution will need to observe all the following documents:

  • the application form, completed as required and signed (by the applicant the partner/spouse of the applicant);
  • the documents which attest the existence of a civil partnership or a valid marriage between the two;
  • the applicants’ identity documents (birth certificate and passport);
  • the same identity documents have to be added to the file for the Irish spouse/partner;
  • in the case in which either party was married before, the file must contain documents regarding the dissolution of the previous marriage;
  • the applicant is required to submit information on the personal financial situation and the same is required for the Irish partner.

In order to migrate to Ireland, the foreign partner or spouse has to present information on having a valid medical insurance. The file must contain information on any joint accommodation the couple has had over the time, and this can range from hotel bookings, to lease contracts or property ownership.

After these papers are submitted, the Irish institutions will review the documents and make a decision on whether to accept the foreigner in the country or not. In the case in which the application will receive a positive answer, the foreigner, along with the Irish partner, will be invited to participate in an interview with the representatives of the institutions that reviewed the application.

If you are not sure what this step will entail, we invite you to address to our immigration lawyer in Ireland, who can advise you on the main aspects you can expect to discuss in this type of meeting. For those who will receive a negative answer, a written paper will be sent and the document will contain the reasons for which the application was denied.

However, even in this case, the applicant is legally entitled to an appeal; please mind that there is a time limit to start this procedure, which has to begin in a period of maximum two months since the refusal letter was sent to the applicant. If you need legal representation regarding the way you can appeal a refusal of admittance, our immigration lawyer in Ireland remains at your service.

If you will receive a positive answer, then you will obtain the Stamp 4, which will commit the applicant to obey the following basic rules as a partner of an Irish citizen: thus, the applicant and the Irish citizen will live in the same household as a family, the applicant will comply with the rules applicable in Ireland and the applicant must not involve in any criminal activity.

There is also the obligation to live in Ireland on a continuous basis and this applies to both spouses. One has the right to leave Ireland for holiday, visiting friends and family living abroad or for business purposes, but there is a limit of time, in the sense that a foreigner who is in the process of permanently relocating to Ireland as the partner of an Irish citizen can’t be outside Ireland for more than 90 days per year.

As a general rule, an absence from Ireland that is longer than this period of time will have a negative impact on the process of obtaining Irish citizenship by marriage, as the applicant must present evidence of being present in the country on a continuous basis, this being a compulsory legal aspect to prove during the citizenship procedure. Thus, if you want to know more on the process of immigration in Ireland, our lawyer is ready to assist you, including in the procedure of gaining citizenship.

In order to start the Irish citizenship by marriage process, you must prepare the Form 8, which will be reviewed by the Irish authorities. In some cases, the applicants will also need to obtain a visa and you can rely on our immigration lawyer in Ireland for more details on the visa application process and the types of visas that are suitable for foreigners in this particular situation. You can always contact our immigration lawyer for more information and legal advice, as well as for legal representation in the process of naturalization in Ireland.

Persons who are interested in obtaining citizenship in Ireland in 2023 are invited to contact our immigration lawyers for professional assistance. Our lawyers can offer in-depth information on the procedures you must follow in 2023 for Irish citizenship.

Our team of lawyers in Ireland can provide legal representation for other legal matters regulated by the immigration law in 2023, such as applying for Irish visas and residence permits.

You can address to us if you want to relocate here in 2023 for business/investment purposes, for employment or for family reunification programs. Please address to our lawyers for any other matter that can be of interest when immigrating to Ireland in 2023.