Our office deals with all types of naturalisation and citizenship applications. Recently, due to the UK’s decision to exit the European Union, we have been receiving an increase in queries from British citizens seeking Irish citizenship through descent and foreign birth registration. Our office provides full advice and assistance for applicants who wish to register their birth through the Foreign Births Register in order to acquire citizenship by descent.
As there is often a lot of confusion regarding the pathway of acquiring Irish citizenship by descent, we thought it would be helpful to outline the various application options for potential applicants:
Irish citizenship by descent can be established in the following ways :
1) Citizenship by Birth in Ireland
According to Section 6 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended in 2011) you are automatically an Irish citizen if you were born in Ireland if:
- One of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, or entitled to be an Irish citizen
- You were born in Ireland before 2005, regardless of the nationality of your parents
- If either of your parents was a British citizen or entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction of his or her period of residence
- The deceased parent at time of your birth was an Irish citizen, a British citizen or a person entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction on his or her period of residence
- A parent must have obtained reckonable residency for a period of not less than three years prior to the child’s birth in Ireland
2) Born outside of Ireland to Irish parent or Irish born grandparent
According to Section 7 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 (as amended in 2011) a person is an Irish citizen or can become an Irish citizen by foreign birth registration if:
- Your parent was an Irish citizen born in the island of Ireland , you are automatically an Irish citizen, irrespective of where you were born
- You were born outside of Ireland to a parent who was also born outside of Ireland whom you derive Irish citizenship from, you are entitled to become an Irish citizenship if you register your birth through the Foreign Births Register
- You were born outside of Ireland and your grandparent was an Irish citizen born in Ireland, you are also entitled to become an Irish citizen by registering your birth through the Foreign Births Register
- If your grandparent/s and your parent/s were both born outside of Ireland, you may only be entitled to become an Irish citizen by having your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register, however, your parent through whom you derive Irish citizenship must have become an Irish citizen by being registered in the Foreign Births Register before you were born.
- If you were born after your parent registered their Irish citizenship in the Foreign Births Register, you are not entitled to become an Irish citizenship through descent.
3) Foreign Birth Registration
- You can become an Irish citizen by Foreign Birth Registration, if you derive Irish citizenship from your parent or grandparent in the above outlined circumstances, in section 2
- You have to register your birth in your nearest Irish Embassy or consular office, which can be located on the Department of Affairs website at www.dfa.ie
- The relevant Irish embassy will outline a list of original documentation you must provide and steps you must take in order to successfully register your foreign birth
- If you are entitled to register, your Irish citizenship is effective from the date of registration
BROPHY SOLICITORS IMMIGRATION TEAM