People who do not have a recent family history of Irish citizenship or a spouse who is an Irish citizen don’t need to lose hope.
You can still become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, which is the process whereby a foreign national living in Ireland may apply to become an Irish citizen.
The Minister for Justice and Equality decides on all applications to become a naturalised Irish citizen.
Applicants must use the current versions of the application forms on the INIS website. The application fee is currently €175.
If you are living in Ireland and applying for naturalisation, you must be registered with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for a Public Services Card.
The Citizens Information website lists the following requirements for becoming an Irish citizen through naturalisation:
- Be 18 years or older (you must be married if you are under the age of 18) or,
- Be a minor born in the State (from 1 January 2005) and
- Be of good character – the Garda Síochána (Ireland’s national police) will be asked to provide a report about your background. Any criminal record or ongoing proceedings will be taken into consideration by the Minister for Justice and Equality in deciding whether or not to grant naturalisation. Details of any proceedings, criminal or civil, in the State or elsewhere, should be disclosed in the application form, and
- Have had a period of 365 days* (1 year) continuous reckonable residence in the State immediately before the date of your application for naturalisation and, during the 8 years preceding that, have had a total reckonable residence in the State amounting to 1,460 days* (4 years). Altogether you must have 5 years (5 x 365 days*) reckonable residence out of the last 9 years – see ‘calculating reckonable residence’ below, and
- Intend in good faith to continue to reside in the State after naturalisation and
- Make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, and undertake to observe the laws of the State and respect its democratic values (see below for the point in the process at which this is required).
*You must add 1 day for any period which includes 29 February.
Applicants will be expected to be supporting themselves and their dependants while living in Ireland.
There could be circumstances where a person who does not meet the above criteria could still be granted Irish citizenship.
The Minister for Justice and Equality has power to waive one or more of the conditions for naturalisation in the following circumstances:
- If you are of Irish descent or of Irish associations or are a parent or guardian applying on behalf of a minor child of Irish descent or Irish associations
- If you have an entitlement to Irish citizenship if you were born on the island of Ireland
- If you are a naturalised parent applying on behalf of a minor child
- If you are the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen or a naturalised person
- If you have been resident abroad in the public service
- If you are recognised as a refugee (under the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees) or a stateless person (under the 1954 UN Convention regarding Stateless Persons).
For more information visit the Citizens Information website