How do I apply for Irish citizenship? Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage, welcoming people and a healthy economy. It’s not surprising that thousands of people from around the world plan to apply for Irish citizenship each year. If you are one of them, you will find there are a range of routes to citizenship in Ireland. In this blog, we take a closer look at these pathways to citizenship in Ireland, and how to prepare for your application.

How do I apply for Irish citizenship by ancestry?

If you have a you may be eligible for Irish citizenship through ancestry. This is called “citizenship by descent.” This option applies even if your parents were not born in Ireland.

The application process for citizenship by descent involves registering your birth with the Department of Foreign Affairs. The online application will ask for An application fee also applies.

The Department of Foreign Affairs advises the current application processing time is 24. Citizenship is automatically granted once your application has been successfully processed and entered into the Foreign Births Register. You are then entitled to apply for an Irish passport which provides you with the right to live and work in Ireland, as well as travel freely within the European Union.

What other options do I have to apply for Irish citizenship?

Another option for obtaining Irish citizenship is through “citizenship by naturalisation.” If you have spent time in Ireland on a visa, you may be eligible to apply. Non-EU applicants must be over 18 to apply, be of good character and being legally resident in Ireland for a period of five years, including a continuous period of 365/366 days in the year immediately prior to the date of your application.

You will need to complete Form 8 to apply for citizenship by naturalisation, which is available on the Department of Justice website. A number of documents are required to prove not only your identification, but evidence of your residency permissions (stamps in your passport and/or letters issued by Immigration Service Delivery) for the previous five years. An application fee also applies. If your application is successful, you will be granted Irish citizenship and be required to attend a citizenship ceremony. You will be entitled to apply for a passport giving you the right to live and work in Ireland and travel through other states of the EU.

There is quite a bit of paperwork involved in registering a foreign birth and applying for citizenship by naturalisation, so it is worthwhile spending some time to get familiar with what documents are required. If you are unsure, or would like some advice on your application, Gibson and Associates LLP is here to help. Our friendly immigration solicitors have many years’ experience providing guidance to citizenship applicants, and are available to discuss your situation and provide advice about preparing your application.

What happens if my application for Irish citizenship is unsuccessful?

While thousands of people are granted Irish citizenship each year, some applications are unsuccessful. There are a number of reasons why an application for Irish citizenship might not be approved. Let’s take a look at the most common.

Not meeting eligibility criteria: Non-EU adult applicants have to meet specific criteria, including being of good character, making a declaration of fidelity to the State, and if applying via work or study routes, must provide evidence of their legal residency in Ireland. Failing to meet these basic criteria can result in an application for citizenship being rejected.

Providing false or incomplete information: One of the key statements on application forms insists on applicants providing true, accurate and complete information. Failing to do this can result in an application being rejected. Furthermore, giving false or misleading information is considered an offence and can come with a fine and/or imprisonment.

Criminal record: Criminal convictions may be result in an application being rejected, while certain types of convictions may make an applicant ineligible for citizenship.

Financial issues: Unpaid taxes or debts can deem an applicant unsuitable for citizenship and result in their application being rejected.

Security concerns: Should there be concerns about an applicant’s background or connection to extremist groups, the application may not be successful.

Immigration violations: Failure to provide proof of legal residency, overstaying a visa, or working or studying in Ireland without permission can risk an application being rejected.

It is important to read and understand the eligibility requirements and application criteria carefully and seek advice if you have any questions to avoid your application for citizenship being delayed or turned down.

Can I appeal a rejected application for citizenship?

While applicants that have had their application for Irish citizenship rejected do not have the right of appeal to the Department of Justice, they do have the right to re-apply. We understand having your citizenship application rejected can be extremely stressful and upsetting, especially after settling in Ireland and making a good life for yourself, and perhaps your family. At Gibson & Associates LLP, our immigration team has extensive experience helping applicants to prepare their citizenship applications and can provide you with insightful advice that gives you the best chance of a successful application.

Our expert immigration solicitors are ready to help you

Whether you plan to apply for citizenship through ancestry or other routes, it’s important to make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria and have all the necessary supporting documents before submitting your application. Sometimes the application process can be challenging for applicants. Gibson & Associates LLP is passionate about helping our clients to streamline the application process, by providing advice and support for obtaining documentation and compiling the application. If you need help, you can trust our experienced immigration solicitors to give your application the best chance of success. To find out more about applying for Irish citizenship, or for a confidential discussion about your application or an appeal, please get in touch with a member of our immigration team on (01) 536 8223 or at email [email protected].