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It is only through citizenship that someone can enjoy all the rights, entitlements and supports on a fully equal basis with all other Irish people. With citizenship, you can apply for an Irish passport, vote in all Irish elections and have access to all State support services. While the cost of citizenship is high in Ireland, many people take this final step to have the right to call themselves Irish when they feel this is their home. Permanency, or long-term residency, means you can stay in Ireland for an extended period with the right to work, study and live but without full citizenship and voting rights.
Below you will find some information about the different ways you can become an Irish citizen or apply for permanency. If you need further assistance, please feel welcome to call our information line. In 2016, 15% of calls to our Information and Support Service were about Citizenship and Permanency.
Citizenship through birth
Everyone born on the island of Ireland before 1st January 2005 is automatically entitled to citizenship. After this date, in order to qualify for citizenship by birth one or more of the parents must be an Irish citizen at the time of the birth of the child, or have a legal right of residence in the State for three of the four years prior to the birth of the child. Your child may also be automatically entitled to Irish citizenship if one of the parents is a British citizen or one of the parents is a declared refugee in the State. If your child falls under one of these categories they can apply directly for an Irish passport.
Citizenship through family
You can qualify for citizenship by descent if you were born outside Ireland and your parents or grandparents are Irish citizens, provided your grandparents were born in Ireland. In order to apply for citizenship by descent you may first be required to register your birth in the Foreign Births Register at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin or at your local Embassy. This registration can take up to six months to process. Information on the required documentation and the application process can be found on their website.
Citizenship through time spent in Ireland
People born outside Ireland who fulfil the residency requirements for time spent legally living in Ireland can apply for citizenship. To get citizenship (become naturalised) you must have five years of reckonable residence in the State to qualify. If you are married to an Irish citizen or are a declared refugee you can apply after three years. Adults can apply for naturalisation by completing the Form 8 available on the INIS website. Applications cost €175 and if successful a further €950 must be paid to get your Certificate of Naturalisation. The Minister can waive the €950 fee if you are a declared refugee. Applications generally take six to 12 months, however, may take longer.
Naturalised parents can apply for their children by completing a Form 9. Applications cost €175 and if successful a €200 fee is required to obtain the Certificate of Naturalisation.
Successful applicants will be invited to a Citizenship Ceremony where they will swear an oath of fidelity to the State. When you have your Certificate of Naturalisation you can apply for an Irish passport.
Permanency – Long term residency
If you do not want to apply for citizenship you may qualify for long term residence. This is a permission to remain for five years, if for example you have been on a Stamp 1 employment permit or a dependent of the permit holder for a period of five consecutive years. If you have been legally resident in Ireland for over eight years you may qualify for permission to remain without condition as to time (Stamp 5). Naturalised Irish citizens with dual nationality who are required to travel on the non-Irish passport may apply for a Without Condition Endorsement (Stamp 6) as needed. These applications can be made through an appointment with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services, which must be made through email.
For further detailed information please contact our Information Line.