There are many benefits to holding dual citizenship with a second nation, including education, employment and health advantages. The United States permits its citizens to hold citizenship with a second nationality without giving up rights to their American citizenship. Among the highest of dual nationalities in the United States is Ireland, as Americans from Irish descent are among one of the highest in the United States due to heavy periods of immigration. The application is fairly simple and does not require a physical presence. A connection to Ireland must be made and proved, and includes supplemental documentation, an application form and a fee.
Determine if you are eligible to to apply for Irish citizenship. There are three different ways to qualify for citizenship: birth, marriage or period of residency. If you were born to an Irish citizen outside of Ireland, you can claim Irish citizenship. The child of an Irish-born citizen born outside Ireland does not need to register for citizenship, but a child of a non-Irish born citizen does, as do grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Irish citizens. It is also possible to become eligible for Irish citizenship through marriage or after a minimum period, lived in Ireland. If you qualify for Irish citizenship, you may apply for citizenship while maintaining your U.S. citizenship. The following steps outline the process for acquiring citizenship through ancestry and not through marriage or residency.
Complete the citizenship application. The Irish citizenship application, form FB1A, must be printed and completed and signed in front of a witness (and signed by the witness). You must also attach two passport-sized photographs to your application.
Acquire documentation of familial connection. You must prove your connection to Ireland through descent, either the citizenship of a parent, grandparent or great grandparent or another qualifying ancestor. You will need certified copies of birth records and marriage certificates of your Irish relatives. You can obtain past Irish birth records from the General Register Officer of Ireland. Notarized copies of parents' and grandparents' current photo id (not originals) must also be sent. In the case of death, a death certificate acts as identification.
Compile personal documentation. You will need to send along with your application and proof of connection the following: a full certified civil birth certificate (full certificates state location and age and names of parents), a notarized copy of a proof of photo identification such as a passport or driver's license and three separate proofs of identification of residency (such as mail or bills sent to you).
Pay the application fee of $200 in the form of cashier's check or money order, made out to the Consulate General of Ireland. Do not send a personal check.
Send all forms, documents and fee to the Irish Consulate General that has jurisdiction over the state in which you currently reside. You must apply through the appropriate consulate general. The process can take anywhere between 12 to 24 months. When your petition is approved, your documents and proof of citizenship will be mailed to you.