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Am I an Irish citizen?

If you or your parent were born on the island of Ireland before 2005, you are an Irish citizen. You can apply for an Irish passport without making an application for citizenship.

If you, or your parent, were born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005, your right to Irish citizenship depends on:

  • the parents’ citizenship at the time of the birth
  • the residency history of one of the parents before the birth

More information on citizenship and applying for a passport

This is due to a change in the legislation dealing with Irish nationality and citizenship.

What does being an Irish citizen mean?

You are formally recognised as a national of Ireland and a citizen of the European Union. You have certain rights. These include the right to:

  • carry an Irish passport
  • live and work in Ireland and the EU

You may also request consular assistance from Irish embassies and consulates abroad, or from those of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish representation (EU Consular Protection Directive).

My grandparent was born on the island of Ireland. Am I an Irish citizen?

Yes, you can apply for Irish citizenship by descent.

In these cases, you can become an Irish citizen through Foreign Birth Registration.

Once a person is entered onto the Foreign Births Register they are an Irish citizen and entitled to apply for an Irish passport.

My parent is an Irish citizen who was not born on the island of Ireland and I was not born on the island of Ireland. Am I an Irish citizen?

Yes, if your parent was an Irish citizen when you were born. You can apply for Irish citizenship through the Foreign Birth Register.

Once a person is entered onto the Foreign Births Register they are an Irish citizen and entitled to apply for an Irish passport.

How else do I become an Irish Citizen?

In this Department, we only process applications for citizenship through Foreign Births Registration.

The Minister for Justice and Equality is responsible for deciding who is eligible to apply for Irish citizenship through the naturalisation process.  Citizenship Division is part of Immigration Service Delivery (ISD), Department of Justice and Equality

Foreign Birth Registration

We process applications for Foreign Births Registration otherwise known as Citizenship by Descent. This can be a complex process that may require you to submit official documentation relating to three generations which may have been issued by several jurisdictions. We have seen an increase in the number of applications. We have also started seeing an increase in the number of incomplete applications.

To avoid delays:

  • It is important that all required Original State issued documentation, including Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates are included with your application. These documents contain the information that you will need to complete your on-line application.
  • The application fee must be paid at the time of application.

To help with the number of applications we have setup a new Foreign Birth Registration team. This team allows us to manage the increased volume of applications and improve efficiency.

New Customer Service Hub

We recently setup a new Customer Services Hub. This hub manages all queries related to Foreign Birth Registration and passport applications.
We communicate with customers by telephone. This method of communications ensures that we are:

  • improving our service to our customers
  • compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • compliant with Data Protection legislation

How long does it take?

After all the correct physical documents are received it takes over two years to process a Foreign Birth Registration application.

  • Applications requiring clarification or further documents take longer.
  • Incomplete applications delay the processing of the complete applications.

Living in Great Britain/USA/Canada/Australia

Our Embassies and Consulates in these countries do not process Foreign Birth Registrations. All applications are now processed in Dublin.

Contact Us

Contact our Customer Service Hub. They will be able to assist you be telephone.