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How can I become an Irish Citizen?
Citizenship Message Board

Applying for Irish Citizenship

Am I eligible?

If you have an Irish-born parent, you automatically are considered an Irish citizen. There is no need to apply for citizenship. If you want a passport, you merely need to complete a passport application. You are also eligible if you have a grandparent and, in a very few instances, a great-grandparent who is an Irish-born citizen. The rules and restrictions governing citizenship come with the application. Lastly, you are eligible if you are a child of a naturalized Irish citizen, provided you were born after your parent was naturalized. (If you are considering having a family it behooves you to get your Irish citizenship before you have children so that they will be eligible.)

How do I apply?

An excellent resource and a marvelous place to start is the Guide to Dual Irish Citizenship, put out by Sidhe Information Services, 9104 Willow Pond Lane, Potomac, MD 20854. The total charge is $25. This thorough, easy-to-read guide includes a complete application and an extensive list of Irish and U.S. offices with birth, marriage, and death certificates on file. You can also get an application directly from the Embassy of Ireland, 2234 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC, 20008, (202) 462-3939, or one of its consulates in Boston, Chicago, New York, or San Francisco. Ask for the citizenship packet for the foreign-born.

What documents do I need?

If you are applying as the grandchild of an Irish-born citizen, you will need to provide one original and two copies of: Birth certificates (long forms not short forms) for yourself; the parent you are claiming citizenship through; and your Irish-born grandparent. (In some cases baptismal certificates are accepted if the birth certificate is unavailable.) Marriage certificates for you (if applicable), your parent, and your grandparent. Death certificates, if your parent or grandparent has died. If you are applying as the child of a naturalized citizen (provided you were born after your parent became a citizen), you will need to provide one original and two copies of: Your parent's naturalization certificate. Birth certificates for you and your naturalized parent. Marriage certificate for your parent and yourself, if applicable. Death certificate of your parent, if deceased. All applicants also will need to provide a photocopy of their passport and photocopies of three additional proofs of identity, such as a driver's license, pay slip, or employment ID card You also need to provide two identical passport-sized photos.

How do I get the documents I need?

Forward as much information as you have on your parents/grandparents. If you know the date and place of birth then the process is straightforward and you can expect to have the required birth record within 2-3 weeks. If you do not have the exact details then it will take longer to locate the birth record up to 4-5 weeks. The fee for locating Irish birth records depends on the time involved in research + US$9.00 per record.

What is the fee?

For adults, it's $179; under 18, it's $64. Plus $5 for postage. The fee must be paid by certified check or money order. If applying in person, you may use cash. Once you have your citizenship, you may apply for a passport. The passport fee is $77. Plus $5 for postage. (Individual agencies also charge fees for certified copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates.)

How long will the process take?

It could take months, especially if you don't have proper documentation. Oftentimes the process hits a snag when applicants hand in the short form of a birth certificate rather than the long form. And things can slow down when a baptismal certificate is presented instead of a birth certificate. The next step getting your passport takes a lot less time.

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More Information on Applying for Irish Citizenship