Are your parents Irish citizens?
If either of your parents was born in Ireland, and is an Irish citizen, you are automatically an Irish citizen – wherever you were born. You can Follow this link to apply for an Irish passport – although having a passport is not a necessary to being an Irish citizen.
However, if either parent is an Irish citizen but born outside Ireland, it is a little more complicated. You are not automatically an Irish citizen – but you may be entitled to become one.
If they are an Irish citizen through their own family heritage you can become an Irish citizen too.
If your parent became a citizen through marriage, adoption or naturalisation you can become a citizen if they were an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.
If the parent was deceased at the time of your birth – but they would have been an Irish citizen if they had been alive – your right to become an Irish citizen is unaffected.
IMPORTANT – You must have your birth registered at the Foreign Births Register before you can claim Irish citizenship.
Your citizenship will be effective from the date of registration – not from the date you were born.
Are your grandparents Irish citizens?
If neither of your parents was born in Ireland but you have one at least grandparent who is an Irish citizen and was born in Ireland you can become an Irish citizen.
IMPORTANT – You must have your birth registered at the Foreign Births Register before you can claim Irish citizenship. https://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/citizenship/born-abroad/
Do you have Irish ancestry?
You cannot become an Irish citizen through ancestry alone unless you have at one parent or Irish-born grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.
Your family lineage must be directly from yourself to parent to grandparent in order to obtain citizenship, meaning that other Irish relatives such as cousins, aunts and uncles will not make you eligible.
This online tool on the INIS website helps you determine whether you are an Irish citizen by birth or decent.
Children from overseas
A child who is adopted by an Irish citizen in Ireland, the child will become an Irish citizen.
If an Irish citizen adopts a child abroad and later moves back to Ireland, they will need to apply for the adoption to be entered in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions. The child will then become an Irish citizen.
If an Irish citizen is living in Ireland and adopts a child from abroad they must adhere to the immigration procedures.
The child couldn’t enter the country before immigration clearance has been obtained from the Department of Justice and Equality.
Adoptive parents would need a declaration in their favour from the Adoption Authority of Ireland.
A deserted child who has been found in Ireland will be considered to have been born in Ireland – unless it is possible to prove a different country of origin.