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How you can claim Irish nationality

by John Dunn | Aug 12, 2016
  • Recently, UK citizens worried about losing their rights to live and work in the EU have inundated Irish authorities with nationality applications. Even if you’re not a UK citizen, you could be interested in finding out if you have a claim to Irish nationality. Below I’ll explain who is eligible and how our team can help you with your application.

    People from English-speaking countries like the United States, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand often have Irish heritage and may be eligible to apply for Irish nationality. Being an Irish national is advantageous as it opens the door for an Irish passport application. Since Ireland is part of the EU, being a citizen is quite useful for anyone looking to internationalise themselves or their family.

    Who is eligible for Irish nationality?

    Many people born outside Ireland, with Irish ancestry, can apply for nationality based on their ancestry. In order to do this, you’ll need to get your name on the Foreign Births Register. Once your name is on the register, you will be considered an Irish national.

    Nationality through your family

    If either of your parents were Irish citizens born in Ireland, you will automatically be an Irish citizen. If, for whatever reason, your birth was not put on the register by your parents, we can help remedy this omission.

    Of particular interest to many of our clients is that if you have a grandparent born in Ireland you will be eligible for Irish nationality. Again, you will need to register your birth on the Foreign Births Register, which we can do for you.

    Another case where you will have to register yourself on the Foreign Births Register is where one of your parents became an Irish citizen by naturalisation or marriage.

    More complicated routes

    If your parents were foreign nationals living in Ireland for three out of the four years before your birth in Ireland, you will be eligible for Irish nationality. You will need to be able to prove that your parents were in the country for the requisite period of time.

    As with most countries, you are able to claim Irish nationality and citizenship through the process of naturalisation. You can do this either as the spouse of an Irish citizen or as a migrant.

    These routes are more complex than claiming a passport through your parents or grandparents, but it is by no means an impossible task for migrants. We do not specifically deal with these more complicated routes, but we can tell you where to get help if you find yourself in these situations.

    Applying for your Irish passport

    In order to apply for an Irish passport, you will have to first be an Irish national. While our team does not deal with passport applications directly, we can point you in the direction of services that do.

    It’s worth noting that with the recent increase in demand for Irish passports has surged to such an extent that Irish Foreign Minister, Charlie Flanagan, has appointed 200 extra caseworkers. Even with this increase in processors, there are expected to be some delays in the processing of applications.

    Our citizenship team can conduct an assessment on your eligibility for Irish nationality, and should you be eligible, help you put your name on the Foreign Births Register. 

    Give us a  call on +44 (0) 20 7759 7581 or send us an email and we’ll get back to you.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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