How to Get Ireland Citizenship – Complete Guide

How to get Ireland citizenship- A guide

How to get Ireland citizenship? This is one question that many aspiring international students and young professionals often come up with, once they are sure about pursuing opportunities in this beautiful country. If you were thinking about getting Ireland citizenship for Indians, a simplified procedure is in place. It is not as complex as you feel; Ireland welcomes skilled and talented individuals to apply for citizenship. 

Biggest Benefits for Irish Citizens 

Many benefits are lying in store for those who become Irish citizens. Some of them include the following: 

  • You can get an Irish passport which means visa-free traveling to 183 nations worldwide. The list has almost all countries in the EU (European Union), South America, and even Canada, UAE, and Japan. 
  • Ireland is one of the highest-ranked global nations for freedom of travel. You can spend up to 180 days with an Irish passport in Mexico, Peru, and Panama while staying for up to 6 months in Canada, Barbados, and Japan. 
  • You can vote in the Irish elections while also running as a candidate for the Government. 
  • You can readily live and work in the country without any limitations while enjoying the freedom to do the same in the European Union (EU). 
  • You can also serve as a legal jury unless you are not eligible for some reason. 
  • You can also get diplomatic support abroad from the EU or Irish Embassy. 

How to get Ireland Citizenship- Ways and Means

Most Irish citizens derive their citizenship from birth. Everyone born here before the 1st of January, 2005 were an Irish citizen by birth. However, citizenship via birth is not an automatic privilege for everyone born hereafter amendments. If you are born in any foreign country, you can become an Irish citizen if a parent was born in Ireland. If your grandparents were born in the country, you might get citizenship via the Foreign Births Register. 

Irish residents coming from abroad can apply for citizenship via naturalization. Irish citizens are also citizens of the EU (European Union). You can claim citizenship if you were born in Ireland/Northern Ireland before the 1st of January 2005 or born hereafter the 31st of December 2004. If one or both parents were Irish citizens or entitled to be Irish/British citizens at the time of your birth, you will be termed eligible. 

If one or both of the parents were British or Irish citizens and passed away before your birth, then you are eligible. If one or both of them were legally entitled to stay in the country without limitations on the period of residency, then you are also eligible. If one or both of your parents were legal residents of the island for 3 out of 4 years just before your birth, then also you could be eligible. 

If you have a grandparent born in Ireland and have entered your own birth on the Foreign Births Register, then you can also be eligible. If you were born abroad, but one or both parents were born in Ireland with entitlement towards citizenship, then you can also apply. If at the time when you were born, any parent became an Irish citizen via naturalization or Foreign Births Register procedures, then you can apply. 

A simple enough Ireland PR process can pave the way towards citizenship. You can also obtain Ireland citizenship by investment provided you meet certain specific criteria. You should have a legal residence for a particular duration, not inclusive of time on the student visa. You should also demonstrate good character. The Minister for Justice sanctions citizenship via naturalization. 

If not by descent or birth, you can apply for naturalization if you meet any of the following conditions: 

  • Living in the country for 5 out of 9 years, concluding on the application date. 
  • Lived legally in Ireland for a period of 12 months before the application. 
  • You should be above the age of 18. 
  • If you get a declaration from the Minister for Justice as a refugee and have lived as a legal resident for three years concluding on the application date while staying here for 12 months before the application. You should also be over 18 in this case. 
  • Suppose you are a child born in Ireland without entitlement by birth to citizenship. In that case, you will be eligible if both you and anyone or both of your parents have legally stayed in Ireland for 5 out of 9 years, concluding on the application date. Both you and one/both parents should have lawfully stayed for 12 months before the application, or your parents should have become naturalized citizens of Ireland. You should have stayed in Ireland for a minimum of three years before your application. 
  • Another pathway is being married to an Irish citizen or being in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen while having lived legally here for 3 out of 5 years, concluding on the application date and for 12 months before the application while staying married/residing together for a period of three years. 

Ireland also allows dual citizenship, and if you fit the criteria, you can get your non-Irish passport stamped with what is known as the Without Condition Endorsement or the Stamp 6. The Minister for Justice may also waive some conditions if you are of Irish association or descent. You should be related via adoption/blood to a citizen or with any other entitlement. At the same time, if you are thinking of applying, make sure that you have legally lived in the country for at least three years. Applications based on descent go back to a maximum of great-grandparents. Those based on being grandparent/parent to an Irish citizen or a relative/sibling of any other citizen are usually rejected. These applications may require a processing time of up to 30 months. 

Steps to be Followed for Getting Citizenship of Ireland

If you were born outside Ireland and wish to get citizenship via ancestry, you should check out the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The first step includes registering your birth within the Foreign Births Registry. You will have to apply with your photographs while signing and dating the application and getting the signature of any witness. Check the list of acceptable witnesses before going ahead. The application requires a fee of roughly Є153-278 (INR 12,900-23,500 approximately). Approvals usually require 6-9 months for processing. 

Applying for Citizenship via Naturalization: 

  • Fill up the application form while meeting some requirements. 
  • You should be 18 or higher or married to any Irish citizen. 
  • You should meet the requirements of marriage or residency. 
  • You should prove intentions to keep residing in the country. 
  • You should make your fidelity declaration at an official ceremony of citizenship. 
  • You should demonstrate good character. 

The Minister for Justice and Equality may also grant waivers on some of these requirements if you are a public servant in Ireland, a refugee, or related by affinity to any Irish citizen, among other reasons. You should have documents like bank statements and marriage certificates (whichever is applicable) ready before applying. Upon getting all documents and checking the form, sign before a witness and submit the same. The application charge is Є175 (INR 14,780 approximately), while the certificate of approval and citizenship form charge (for refugees) is Є950 (INR 80,233 approximately). 

Documents Needed for Ireland citizenship

The documents will naturally depend on the type of application and your circumstances. If they are in any other language, you should get them translated professionally into English. Find an approved list of translators at the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association. You will have to furnish proof of your nationality and identity along with a full-color passport photocopy with certification by a notary public/solicitor/commissioner for oaths. 

The ISD has its scorecard assessment system for residence and identification documents. You should score 150 points for both categories. Suppose the naturalization application has a basis on the civil partnership/marriage. In that case, you will have to submit documents showing the nationality of the spouse/partner and evidence of being married for three years. Some documents may require true copy certification via a peace commissioner/solicitor/commissioner for oaths/notary. You will have to certify your birth certificate, marriage/civil partnership certificate (if applicable), spouse’s birth certificate (if applicable), passport, and more. 

Adults applying for citizenship should submit their tax clearance certificates. You can apply online at the Revenue portal. If you have not worked in Ireland, submit a form stating that you cannot furnish the tax clearance certificate. 

Irish Citizenship through Ancestry

You can get citizenship of Ireland through ancestry. Many people get the same via their grandparents or even great-grandparents. You should demonstrate proof that you are the child or grandchild of citizens of Ireland. Anyone out of your parents or grandparents should have been born in Ireland. You can also qualify if you have great-grandparents born in the country. However, your parents should have established ancestry courtesy of the Foreign Births Register. 

Those born post-1986 would have required registration by their parents before their birth. Those born after this year will need their parents to get registered between 1956-1986. You should always get your birth registered, leaving the pathway open for your children to obtain Irish citizenship in the future. 

Marriage or Civil Partnership to an Irish Citizen

If you are married to an Irish citizen or in a civil partnership with them, the procedure is relatively quick. You can apply via naturalization if you have been married to a citizen of Ireland for three years. 

Conclusion

Hence, getting Ireland citizenship is a simple procedure provided you meet the entire legal residency and other requirements. There are multiple pathways to obtaining Irish citizenship, and you should always check all the guidelines carefully before submitting any application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it easy to get citizenship in Ireland?

It is pretty easy to obtain citizenship in Ireland. Ireland is one of the world’s easiest nations for obtaining dual citizenship. This will help you retain citizenship in your country of birth or origin while getting an Irish passport. For naturalization, you will need to stay in Ireland for at least five years out of the last nine and legally reside in the country for the previous 12 months before the application date. If you are married to any Irish citizen or are a declared refugee by the Minister for Justice and Equality, you may apply after three years.

Does Ireland give citizenship to foreigners?

Yes, Ireland offers citizenship to foreigners based on certain conditions. You will have to get your birth registered. Naturalization is another procedure for obtaining citizenship in Ireland. Find out about getting Ireland citizenship via descent/birth, marriage/civil partnership with Irish citizenship, and other legal residency conditions.

How much does it cost to get Irish citizenship?

The application charge is usually Є175 (INR 14,780). Other expenses of Є950 (INR 80,233) may apply in certain conditions.

Can I get Irish citizenship if my great-grandparents were Irish?

You could get citizenship in Ireland if your great-grandparents were Irish citizens. You can claim citizenship via descent or ancestry in this case. However, you should register your birth in the Foreign Births Register before applying, and foreigners should reside for at least five years in Ireland before going for naturalization.

How long do you live in Ireland to become a citizen?

You should live in Ireland for a minimum period of five years out of the last nine years or 1825/1826 days. This will include a year or 365 days of continuous residence immediately before applying. You can also apply after living in Ireland for three years if you meet some other criteria.

Can an Indian get Irish citizenship?

Yes, Indians may obtain Irish citizenship by satisfying the legal residency and other criteria. Those coming to the country for professional reasons may apply for citizenship after five years. However, make a note of the fact that India does not allow any dual nationality. Hence, you cannot take the dual citizenship route.

What shall be the first step in obtaining Irish citizenship?

To get citizenship in Ireland, you will have to register your birth in the Foreign Births Register. If you are entitled to register, then your citizenship will be effective from this registration date. At the same time, you will have to check all legal residency requirements and furnish proof of the same along with other documents while applying.

Can one get Irish citizenship if they live for five years as a student?

To get citizenship of Ireland, you should live here for five out of the last nine years, including a year of continuous residence in the country. However, the Minister for Justice and Equality may waive the requirement to three years for stateless individuals or refugees. However, remember that time spent on the student visa does not fulfill this requirement.

How can one get Irish citizenship by descent?

You could get citizenship of Ireland by descent if one or both of your grandparents or great-grandparents or your parents were born in the country. If none of your parents were born here, but anyone or both grandparents/great-grandparents were born in the country, then you can still get citizenship. However, you will have to get your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register.

Which is the easiest way to Ireland permanent residency?

You may only apply for permanent residency in Ireland after legally staying in the country for a period of five years. This will include holders of General Employment permits as well. Those employed in the technology industry may apply for permanent residency after a period of just two years since they will hold Critical Skills Employment Permits.

How much time does it take to get an Irish passport?

In most cases, it takes 10-15 working days for renewals of passports in Ireland, along with 40 working days for first-time passport applications.

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