USA and the UK
- Am I eligible for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
- What are the eligibility requirements for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
- How to calculate reckonable residence in Ireland?
- What is the good character requirement for Irish citizenship?
- How can I apply for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
- What supporting documents do I need to submit?
- What happens after I send my application?
- What is the cost of applying for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
- How can I apply for an Irish passport?
- What are the advantages of being an Irish citizen?
- Can my Irish citizenship be revoked?
- What happens during the citizenship ceremony?
- How can I join my Irish spouse in Ireland?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
To be able to submit the application for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage, you have to have been married to, or have been in a civil partnership with, your Irish partner for at least 3 years. In addition to that, you have to have spent at least 3 years of reckonable residence in Ireland.
Normally, the requirement to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalisation is that foreign citizens have to have spent at least 5 years of reckonable residence in Ireland. This period is shortened for those who are married to their Irish spouse.
You have to be aware of the fact that being married to an Irish citizen does not give you the automatic right to Irish citizenship. To be able to obtain it, you have to meet a number of eligibility criteria and go through the application process.
If your application for Irish citizenship through marriage is successful, you will be able to live in Ireland permanently without any immigration restrictions. You will also have the right to apply for an Irish passport.
What are the eligibility requirements for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
Before you begin the application process for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage, you need to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements, which are:
- You are 18 years of age or older
- You are married to or in a recognised civil partnership with a person who is an Irish citizen
- Your marriage or civil partnership is recognised under Irish law
- You have spent at least 3 years of reckonable residence in Ireland
- The 3 years of your reckonable residence in Ireland has to be within the last 5 years preceding the application
- Immediately prior your application you have to have spent 1 year of continuous residence in Ireland
- You and your partner are living together as a married couple or civil partners
- You intend to live in Ireland permanently
- You agree to make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State
- You are of good character.
If you are not sure whether you are eligible to apply for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage, get in touch with our lawyers. They will assess your circumstances and tell you whether you can proceed with your application. They can also tell you in detail what evidence you need to gather to prove your eligibility.
How to calculate reckonable residence in Ireland?
Reckonable residence refers to residence in Ireland that counts towards the time requirement for Irish citizenship by naturalisation. To be eligible to apply for naturalisation through marriage, you have to have spent at least 3 years of reckonable residence in Ireland.
Not all the periods you spent in Ireland qualify as reckonable residence. For example, if you have previously been to Ireland on a Tourist Visa, the visit does not count towards reckonable residence.
Examples of periods that do count for reckonable residence in Ireland include:
- Time you spent in Ireland on an employment permit
- Time you spent in Ireland on Stamp 4
- Time you spent in Ireland as the dependent of a person who is in Ireland on an employment permit
- Time you spent in Ireland as the spouse of civil partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or researcher who is in Ireland under a hosting agreement
- Time you spent in Ireland on Stamp 5.
If you are not sure whether you have spent enough time in Ireland to meet the reckonable residence requirement for Irish citizenship, get in touch with our lawyers. They will review your immigration history and your previous visits to Ireland and determine whether you can begin the application process.
What is the good character requirement for Irish citizenship?
Being of good character is an important requirement that all applicants for Irish citizenship have to satisfy. If you cannot prove that you are of good character, your application will be rejected.
The good character requirement means that you are a law-abiding person who has no worrying criminal history. It also means that you commit to making a declaration of loyalty to Ireland and respecting the laws and democratic values of the country.
When assessing whether you meet the good character requirement, immigration officials will look at any previous crimes you committed and any breaches of your previous visas to Ireland. They will also make sure that all information you provided in the application is true.
Immigration officials are committed to making sure that citizenship applicants did not enter into marriage or civil partnership for the sole purpose of immigrating to Ireland.
This is why, if you are found to have provided misinformation in your application, it might lead to your citizenship application being rejected right away.
How can I apply for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
If you determine that you are eligible to apply for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage, you can begin the application process.
The first step is to complete an application form known as Form 8. You have to answer all the questions. If a question does not apply to you, make sure to write ‘N/A’ rather than leaving it blank.
In the form, you also have to include details and signatures of 3 people who agree to act as a referee for you. They have to be Irish citizens and have to know you enough to be able to tell immigration officials about your character.
The next step is to gather supporting documents that prove your identity and your eligibility for Irish citizenship. It is advisable to hire an immigration lawyer who can tell you in detail what evidence you have to prepare.
Then, you have to send a tax clearance certificate confirming that your tax affairs are sorted. You can apply for a tax clearance certificate online.
After you have completed the application form and have the supporting documents ready, you need to make a statutory declaration in which you swear that the information you are submitting is true. The declaration is a written statement that needs to be witnessed by a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, a notary public, or a peace commissioner. Your Irish spouse or civil partner also has to make the declaration.
Finally, you need to pay the application fee and send your application over for processing.
What supporting documents do I need to submit?
The exact documents you need to submit vary depending on your individual situation. Nevertheless, documents that all applicants have to provide include:
- Your birth certificate
- Your spouse or civil partner’s birth certificate
- Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
- Full colour photocopy of your valid passport (it needs to be certified by a solicitor, commissioner for oaths or a notary public)
- Photocopies of any previous passports that are relevant for documenting your residence history in Ireland.
Immigration Service Delivery uses a scorecard system to assess foreigners residence history in Ireland. Different documents grant you different amount of points. When applying for Irish citizenship, you need to have 150 points in both identification and residency. To better understand how many points you can get for each document you submit, contact an immigration lawyer.
If any of your documents were issued in a language other than English, you have to have them translated by a professional translator.
If you are unable to provide some of the required documents or you did not manage to get companies of them, you have to explain the reason why you were not able to submit the documents.
For applicants who are unable to send their birth certificate or marriage certificate, they have to use appropriate affidavits. These will only be accepted if the applicant can prove that it was impossible for them to obtain the documents.
What happens after I send my application?
After you send your application over, immigration officials will review the information and documents you provided. Most applications are processed within 12 months.
Within a few weeks from you submitting your application, Immigration Service Delivery will notify you if your application has passed the initial processing stage. Sometimes, they might ask you to provide additional evidence or clarify some information.
If your application is successful, Immigration Service Delivery will send you a letter confirming that. They will also ask you to pay the Certification Fee and Send your Irish Residence Permit (if you are a non-EEA citizen).
You will also be issued an invitation to attend a citizenship ceremony after which you will receive your naturalisation certificate. Until you have obtained it, you will not be able to apply for your Irish passport.
If your application is unsuccessful, you will receive a letter explaining the reason for the decision. Unfortunately, it is not possible to appeal this decision. If you believe that Immigration Service Delivery acted in an unfair manner when processing your application, you can apply to the High Court for a judicial review. Before you do that, you should consult an immigration lawyer, however.
You can also try to apply again. Get in touch with our lawyers and they will advise you what your next steps should be in the event where your citizenship application has been rejected.
What is the cost of applying for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage?
When applying for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage, you have to pay the fee for naturalisation, which is €175. You must pay this fee during the application process. Otherwise, you will not be able to proceed with your application. The fee must be paid using the banker’s draft, which you can get from any bank even if you do not have an account with them. Other types of payment are not accepted.
If your application is successful, you will have to pay an additional fee for your certificate of naturalisation. If you are applying for naturalisation through marriage, the fee for it is €950.
In the event where your application for Irish Citizenship Through Marriage is rejected, you will not have to pay the fee for the naturalisation certificate.
There might be additional costs you need to cover, for example, for getting your documents translated. These vary depending on your individual circumstances, however.
How can I apply for an Irish passport?
After you officially become an Irish citizen, you can apply for your Irish passport, which is one of the most powerful passports in the world. Keep in mind that you can only apply for the passport after you attend the naturalisation ceremony and get the certificate of naturalisation, confirming your citizenship.
To apply for the Irish passport, you have to complete an online application form. Alternatively, you can go to the post office or meet someone working at a Passport Office counter service but venturing down this route makes the process lengthy and more expensive.
When applying for the Irish passport, you have to submit a number of supporting documents, which include:
- Document confirming your identity (for example your national id or driver’s license)
- Proof of your Irish citizenship (your certificate of naturalisation)
- 4 passport size photographs (make sure to sign and date 2 of them)
- Proof of address (for example utility bills or bank statements).
To obtain your passport, you also have to pay a fee. The cost of a standard passport with 34 pages, valid for 10 years is:
- €75 if you apply online (if you live outside of Ireland, you also have to pay €5 for shipping)
- €80 if you use the Passport Express application (and €9,50 for shipping if you live outside of Ireland)
- €95 if you apply in person.
For a larger passport with 66 pages, the fee is €105. You have to be aware of the fact that although it has more pages, it is not valid longer than the standard passport.
The processing of applications for those applying for their Irish passport for the first time takes between 6 to 8 weeks.
What are the advantages of being an Irish citizen?
Once you become an Irish citizen, you will have the right to live, work, and study in Ireland with no restrictions. You will enjoy a number of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Irish Constitution. You will be able to access state services, vote in Irish elections, and even be elected to government. If you travel abroad, you will have the support of Irish embassies and consulates around the world.
Moreover, as Ireland belongs to the European Union, becoming an Irish citizen means that you automatically become a citizen of the EU too. Your EU citizenship grants you the right to travel freely between EU member states, without having to meet any requirements or obtain visas. It also allows you to move to any EU member state to live, study, or work without having to get a visa.
Irish citizens can also get a European Health Insurance Card, enabling them to access state-provided healthcare while visiting another EU member state.
Irish citizens also enjoy the right to travel to or reside in the UK. As an Irish citizen, if you want to work or study anywhere in the UK, you can do so without having to obtain any permits. And, after living in the UK for a certain period of time, you might be able to get British citizenship.
Ireland permits dual and multiple citizenship. So, as an Irish citizen, you can also get a citizenship of another country without losing your Irish one. If you have children, you will pass your Irish and EU citizenships to them.
Can my Irish citizenship be revoked?
Generally, when you get your Irish citizenship, you get this status forever. There are, however, certain circumstances in which the Minister for Justice has the power to revoke your Irish citizenship. That can happen if:
- You obtained your citizenship through fraud or concealment of information
- You did not fulfil your duty of fidelity to the Irish nation and loyalty to Ireland
- You were residing outside of Ireland for a continuous period of 7 years without declaring your intention to keep your Irish citizenship
- You are a citizen of a country that is at war with Ireland
- You become a citizen of another country by way other than marriage or entering into civil partnership.
If the Minister for Justice makes the decision to revoke your citizenship, they must inform you of the reasons why your certificate of naturalisation is being taken back.
You will also have the right to apply to the Minister for an inquiry into the reasons for the decision. If you do that, the Minister will refer your case to a Committee of Inquiry.
Generally, if you get Irish citizenship through marriage, you can keep your status forever, even if following naturalisation you move to another country. However, if you become an Irish citizen by naturalisation but you later decide to reside outside of Ireland, you have to complete Form 5 every year. In the form, you need to indicate that you wish to retain your Irish citizenship despite living abroad. If you fail to do that, your Irish citizenship might be revoked on the grounds of you being away from Ireland for a continuous period of 7 years or more.
When submitting the form, you have to make sure to use the most recently published version of it. If you submit an old version of the form, immigration officials will return it to you and you will have to repeat the whole process.
What happens during the citizenship ceremony?
The citizenship ceremony is the last step of the application process for your Irish citizenship. At the ceremony you will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation, which proves your citizenship, and you will make a declaration of fidelity and loyalty to the State.
Ceremonies are held a few times a year and you will receive an invitation to your one before it is scheduled to take place. At each event there often are several ceremonies.
On the day of the ceremony you will be given words of the declaration and you do not have to memorise them. In the declaration you will express your commitment to respecting the rights and laws of Ireland. Until you have made the declaration, you will not become an Irish citizen.
When you arrive at the ceremony venue, you have to go to the registration deck and show people working there your photo identity document. After you register you will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation, your ceremony booklet, and an Irish emblem.
In the ceremony booklet you will be find information about:
- The process of applying for the Irish passport
- Your right to register to vote
- The circumstances in which the Minister for Justice can revoke your citizenship
- The words of the Irish national anthem.
The ceremony typically lasts a couple of hours. You can only take one guest with you but if you want your loved ones or friends to watch, there is a live stream available online.
How can I join my Irish spouse in Ireland?
If you are not living in Ireland yet but you are married to an Irish citizen and you want to join them, you can apply for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa. This permit belongs to the Join Family Visa category and it allows holders to come to Ireland to stay there long term.
To be able to apply for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa, you need to meet the following requirements:
- You and your partner are in a genuine relationship and you intend to stay and live together permanently
- You have a marriage/civil partnership certificate recognised under Irish law
- Your relationship did not develop solely over the Internet or phone
- You and your partner are at least 18 years old.
The processing of applications for the Irish Spouse/Civil Partner Visa takes at least 6 months. Applications are reviewed in chronological order so the waiting time depends on how many people are applying at the same time as you. Moreover, if your case is complex, you can expect to wait longer.
Once immigration officials review your application and all the documents you provide, they will notify you about the decision.
If your application for the Spouse/Civil Partner Visa is successful, you will be able to come to Ireland to live with your partner. You will receive Stamp 4 in your passport, which grants you the right to work in Ireland without having to obtain an employment permit. Moreover, the time you spend in Ireland on this visa will count towards reckonable residence.
If your application is rejected, you will receive a refusal letter explaining the reason for the negative decision. The letter will indicate whether you have the right to appeal. If you do and you wish to do so, you should consult an immigration lawyer. And, if you do not want to go through the appeal process, our lawyers can also tell you what your other options to come to Ireland to join your spouse are. No matter how complicated the situation is, they can help you find a solution.
Our lawyers can assess your circumstances and help you determine whether you qualify for the Spouse/Civil Partner Visa. They can also guide you through each step of the application process.
How can IAS help?
At IAS, we have a team of highly qualified immigration lawyers who want to assist you during your journey to become an Irish citizen. Over the years we have helped many clients immigrate to Ireland and, no matter how complex your case is, we can provide expert guidance.
The process of applying for Irish citizenship through marriage can be complicated. There are many requirements you have to meet and documents you need to provide. Our lawyers can guide you through the process of becoming an Irish citizen, making sure that you know what is expected from you.
They can help you calculate your reckonable residence and complete all the forms. They can also help you gather documents that prove your eligibility for Irish citizenship. By hiring an immigration lawyer, you can not only make your case as strong as possible but you can also easily deal with any problems that might arise.
We have offices in Ireland and across the UK. Our lawyers can discuss your situation with you face to face, visa the phone, or online. They offer the highest quality services and professional advice tailored to your individual goals and needs.
Call us today on +353 061 518 025 and find out more about how we can help.
Once you get your Irish citizenship, you can keep it forever. It can only be revoked in certain exceptional circumstances, for example, when the Ministry for Justice finds out that you lied on your application. Getting divorced after you become an Irish citizen does not mean that you will lose your citizenship.
Nevertheless, as part of the application process for Irish citizenship through marriage, you have to provide extensive evidence confirming that your relationship is genuine and that you plan to stay together with your partner after you become an Irish citizen. If immigration officials suspect that you are only married to your partner to receive immigration benefits in Ireland, your citizenship application will be rejected.
The stamp you receive in your passport indicates what rights you have and what conditions you need to follow while residing in Ireland. The Irish immigration stamps are:
- Stamp 0 – given to those who received permission to stay in Ireland for a limited period of time. Examples of individuals who receive Stamp 0 include those who came to Ireland to do short-term work for a foreign company, visiting academics, or financially independent people who want to live in Ireland.
- Stamp 1 – granted to those who received permission to work or operate a business in Ireland.
- Stamp 1A – given to those who have been offered a full-time paid accountancy training position in Ireland.
- Stamp 1G – for those who completed their studies in Ireland and received permission to work in the country under the Third Level Graduate Programme, as well as to those who are spouses or de facto partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders.
- Stamp 2 – given to those who have permission to complete a study course which is included on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes.
- Stamp 2A – for those who come to Ireland to study but who are enrolled in a course that is not on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes.
- Stamp 3 – given to volunteers, ministers of religion, and those who are coming to Ireland to join their non-EEA partner or family member living in Ireland with a work permit.
- Stamp 4 – individuals who get it include those who hold the Critical Skills Employment Permit, those who are coming to Ireland to join their spouse or civil partner, and those who have been legally resident in Ireland for at least five years.
- Stamp 5 – granted to those who hold permanent residence in Ireland. Those who get it have permission to stay in Ireland without any time limits
- Stamp 6 – reserved for those who become Irish citizens but also have citizenship of another country.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they can explain to you what your freedoms and obligations in Ireland are depending on the immigration stamp you have. Thanks to that you can avoid accidentally breaching the conditions of your permit.
Most applications for Irish citizenship through marriage are processed within 12 months. When your application passes the initial processing stage, you will receive a notification from Immigration Service Delivery. If you fail to provide some of the required evidence, Immigration Service Delivery might request that you submit it. Then, the processing of your application will be put on hold until you include it and the overall waiting time for your Irish citizenship might be longer.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they can liaise with Immigration Service Delivery on your behalf and notify you of any changes to the status of your citizenship application.
Your certificate of naturalisation is very important as it serves as proof of your Irish citizenship. If you make any unauthorised changes to it, you will make it invalid.
If you lose your certificate or it gets stolen, you have to contact the Citizenship Division of Immigration Service Delivery and notify them about the situation.
The certificate cannot be replaced, which means you will not be able to get a new one. Instead, you will be issued a statement confirming your Irish citizenship. You can receive it for free. If you have not yet applied for your Irish passport and you decide to do it, you have to bring this statement with you.
Foreign citizens who are married to Irish citizens might be able to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalisation after living in Ireland for a certain required amount of time. To be able to apply, you need to meet a number of requirements, however. These include:
- You are 18 years of age or older
- You have been married to your partner who is an Irish citizen for 3 years or more
- You have lived in Ireland for 3 years out of 5 years preceding your application
- You have lived in Ireland for one year continuously right before your application
- You plan to live in Ireland permanently after you become an Irish citizen
- You live with your Irish spouse and you plan to keep living with them after you get your Irish citizenship
- You are of good character.
If you determine that you meet these criteria, you can begin the application process for Irish citizenship. You will need to submit a number of documents that prove your eligibility.