USA and the UK
What is dual citizenship?
Dual citizenship is when a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. That means that they have legal rights in both countries but, at the same time, they also have a number of obligations in them.
Not all countries allow dual citizenship so, sometimes, a person has to renounce the citizenship of their country of origin to become a citizen of another state. Luckily, Ireland is not one of these countries. So, if you meet the requirements to become an Irish citizen, you can obtain this status without having to worry about losing your current citizenship.
Irish citizenship can be especially beneficial to you if you are now a citizen of a non-EEA country. Ireland is a member of the European Union so Irish citizens can go to other EU member states to work, study, or travel without having to apply for a visa.
How can I get Irish citizenship?
The easiest and quickest way to get Irish citizenship is by birth but foreign citizens who do not have Irish family members can also become Irish citizens after living in Ireland for a certain period of time known as reckonable residence. This route is known as citizenship by naturalization.
To be able to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalization, you have to have been living in Ireland for at least five years. Nevertheless, not all your trips to Ireland will count towards reckonable residence. For example, if you previously came to Ireland on a Tourist Visa or an Exam Visa, the time you spent in Ireland on it will not count towards the reckonable residence.
The five-year time requirement for Irish citizenship by naturalization does not apply to those living in Ireland with refugee status or those who are married to or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen. These individuals can apply for Irish citizenship after living in Ireland for just three years.
If your application for Irish citizenship is successful, you will have access to full state freedoms and you will be able to live in Ireland permanently without any immigration restrictions. You will also be able to leave the country for as long as you want, as many times as you want, without risking losing your status.
What are the requirements for Irish citizenship by naturalization?
The most important requirement for Irish citizenship by naturalization is that you have been lawfully living in Ireland for five years. It is important that the five years you spent in the country were during the nine years preceding the application and that immediately before submitting your application you spent one year of continuous residence in Ireland. In order not to break the continuous residence, you cannot leave Ireland for more than 6 weeks during this period.
In addition to the legal residence requirement, to be able to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalization, you have to meet the following requirements:
- You are 18 years of age or older (those who are married can apply for citizenship before their 18th birthday)
- You are of good moral character
- You commit to making a declaration of loyalty to Ireland during your citizenship ceremony
- You promise to respect the laws and democratic values of the country
If you are not sure whether you meet the criteria for Irish citizenship by naturalization, talk to our lawyers. They will analyze your situation and determine whether you can apply. They can also help you prepare all the necessary documents that prove your eligibility for Irish citizenship.
How can I apply for Irish citizenship by naturalization?
If you meet the eligibility requirements for Irish citizenship, you can start preparing your application. The first step of the application process is to complete and submit an online application form. There are many questions you need to answer so that immigration officials can determine whether you qualify to become an Irish citizen.
After you submit the form, you have to collect supporting documents that prove your eligibility for Irish citizenship. If you hire one of our lawyers, they can help you gather any evidence you might need to make your case as strong as possible. If you do not provide sufficient evidence confirming that you meet the Irish citizenship criteria, your application will be rejected.
Once you have all the documents, you have to make a statutory declaration in which you promise that all the information included in your application and evidence file is true. The declaration has to be prepared with a solicitor, a commissioner for oaths, a notary public, or a peace commissioner present.
The next step is to send the complete application and documents to the relevant application office for processing. You also have to pay the non-refundable application fee of €175. If your application is approved, you will also have to pay additional fees for the Certificate of Naturalisation. These fees are:
- €950 for adult applicants
- €200 for minor applicants
- €200 for widows, widowers, or surviving civil partners of Irish citizens.
Those who live in Ireland with refugee status do not have to pay the fee for their Certificate of Naturalisation.
If your application for Irish citizenship is successful, you will have to go to a citizenship ceremony. This is the last step of the application process. After that, you will officially become a dual citizen.
Citizenship by birth and Citizenship by Irish descent
Depending on the circumstances of your birth, you may be able to claim Irish citizenship. For example, if you were born on the island of Ireland (including Northern Ireland) before January 1st, 2005, you are automatically granted Irish nationality.
It should be noted that the Irish government has changed this rule and according to Irish law, those born on January 1st, 2005, and after will no longer be eligible for obtaining Irish citizenship automatically. However, they may still be able to claim Irish citizenship if one or both of your parents was an Irish citizen, a person entitled to Irish citizenship (legal permanent resident), or a British citizen at the time of birth.
Individuals who were born abroad to an Irish parent (who was born in Ireland) or have any other Irish associations (adopted by an Irish parent, etc), can also obtain citizenship by descent in Ireland by registering with the Foreign Birth Registration.
Some foreign nationals can apply for Irish citizenship if they have an Irish grandparent (born in Ireland) with the Foreign Births Register.
How can IAS help?
Applying for your Irish dual citizenship can be a complex process as there are many requirements you have to meet and documents you need to submit. Nevertheless, you can make it significantly easier by hiring an immigration lawyer.
At IAS, we have a team of experienced lawyers who have a thorough knowledge of Irish immigration law. They have helped many non-EEA citizens apply for Irish citizenship by naturalization and become dual citizens.
If you hire one of our lawyers, they will assess your circumstances to see whether you qualify for Irish citizenship. If they determine that you do, they will guide you through each step of the application process, making sure you understand what is expected from you.
They will also make sure you submit all the necessary documents as the failure to provide some of them could lead to your application being rejected.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how our team can help.
Last modified on August 8th, 2023 at 5:44 am
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If you want to apply for Irish citizenship, you have to be prepared for a long waiting time. On average, most applications are processed within 23 months but the waiting time depends on the individual situation of each applicant. If your case is complex, you might have to wait longer.
If you fail to provide some of the required documents, you will have 28 days to provide them. During this period the processing of your application will be put on hold so the whole process will be delayed.
Generally, once you obtain your Irish citizenship, you can keep your status forever. But, it is possible for your Irish citizenship to be revoked in one of the following circumstances:
- You lied in your application
- You did not fulfill your duty of loyalty to Ireland
- You spent more than 7 years continuously outside of Ireland and you failed to make a declaration of your intention to keep your Irish citizenship
- You became a citizen of a country that is at war with Ireland
- You became a citizen of another country by going down a route other than marriage
Reckonable residence refers to the time requirement saying that you have to have been living in Ireland for at least 5 years to be able to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalization. The time requirement of 5 years can be shortened to 3 years if you are a spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen or if you are living in Ireland with refugee status.
Keep in mind that the time you spend in Ireland on Short Stay ‘C’ Visas does not count towards reckonable residence.
Stamp 1, Stamp 1G, Stamp 3, Stamp 4, and Stamp 5 all count towards the time requirement for Irish citizenship by naturalization.
If while living in Ireland you spent a lot of time outside of the country, you will have to provide an explanation for long absences.
After you successfully apply for Irish citizenship, you can submit an application for an Irish passport. To be able to obtain it, you have to provide the following documents:
- Your naturalization certificate
- The passport from your country of origin
- Your birth certificate
- Your marriage or civil partnership certificate if you are married to an Irish citizen