How to Become a Citizen of Ireland

By Morgan O'Connor - Updated October 06, 2017
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clonmacnoise Ireland image by apeschi from Fotolia.com

Ireland, with its rich history of rebellion, its vibrant music and dance traditions and its rolling green hills, can be a tempting destination. If you want to move to the Emerald Isle permanently, you’ll need to become a citizen. Depending on your specific circumstances and family history, you may be able to obtain citizenship in one of several ways.

Family

Apply for citizenship via your family ties if any one of your four grandparents was born in Ireland. You can also apply via your family ties if at least one of your great-grandparents was born in Ireland and your applicable parent (the grandchild of the Irish-born person) applied for and obtained Irish citizenship before you were born.

Collect all relevant documentation for your Irish parent or grandparent, such as a birth certificate, a marriage certificate (if applicable) and either a passport copy (if your parent or grandparent is alive) or a death certificate (if your parent or grandparent is deceased). You will need to know this person’s date and location of birth and full name, including surname and maiden name (if applicable).

Collect all relevant documentation relating to yourself, including copies of your birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), passport, proof of identification and proof of address. You will also need two clear, recent pictures of yourself.

Fill out the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 and 1986 application for citizenship form as completely as possible.

Ask a member of the clergy, medical doctor, school principal, bank manager, lawyer, police officer, magistrate or judge who knows you personally or knows someone who knows you personally to sign and date both the form and the backs of the two pictures.

Submit the form, applicable fee and all relevant documentation about yourself and your relative to either the Department of Foreign Affairs or to the Irish Diplomatic or Consular Mission nearest to your current place of residence.

Marriage

Marry an Irish citizen and live together as husband and wife.

Remain married for at least three years, of which the last year before the request for citizenship is spent living in Ireland. Also, you must have been living in Ireland for at least two of the four years preceding your request for citizenship.

Fill out the Application By a Person of Full Age for Naturalization as an Irish Citizen. Collect and enclose all relevant documents as requested in the form, such as birth and marriage certificates and bank statements for the last three months.

Submit the form and all other necessary documentation to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

Naturalization

Live in Ireland for one year immediately prior to your application for citizenship and at least four out of the eight years prior to that for a total of five out of the previous nine years. Note that residence under certain conditions, such as being a student, does not count toward this time.

Fill out the Application By a Person of Full Age for Naturalization as an Irish Citizen. Collect and enclose all relevant documents as requested in the form, such as birth and marriage certificates and bank statements for the last three months.

Submit the form and all other necessary documentation to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.

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