If you are a non-Irish national who is married to an Irish citizen, you may be able to become an Irish citizen if you meet certain conditions. The conditions relating to residence are more favourable than those for naturalisation of people who are not married to Irish citizens.
Up to 29 November 2005, it was possible to become an Irish citizen by making a post-nuptial declaration of citizenship. This scheme has now ended, and the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service is processing the applications received. There were 8,000 applications on hands as of March 2006, and it is expected that the processing will be complete by the end of this year.
To claim citizenship by marriage, you must meet the following conditions:
Certain periods of residence do not count for the purpose of reckonable residence, for example, periods when you did not have permission to remain in Ireland, or you were here on a student visa, or you were seeking asylum.
The application process is the same as for becoming a citizen through naturalisation. There are, however, more favourable residence requirements, but there is no longer an absolute entitlement to citizenship through marriage. The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has discretion to grant or refuse your application.
You can only claim citizenship by marriage if your current marriage is a valid marriage under Irish law.
You are not free to enter a second marriage unless, at the time of your second marriage, your previous marriage had been terminated by:
A divorce granted by an Irish court will be recognised as having terminated your previous marriage. If your freedom to enter your current marriage was based on an earlier marriage terminated by a divorce, and that divorce was not obtained in Ireland, you will need to find out whether that divorce is one that would be recognised under Irish law.
You will be required to present documentation showing the validity of your current marriage, which would include documentation showing the validity of any previous divorce.
If your application is successful,you will be issued with a letter informing you about this and requesting the fee of 126.97 euro (this amount is set by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship (Fees) Regulations 1993).
A certificate confirming your Irish citizenship will normally be issued within 30 days of receipt of payment. This will be sent to you by registered post along with any original documents still on your file.
You can apply for an Irish passport following the confirmation of your Irish citizenship and the receipt of your citizenship certificate.
The fee is 126.97 euro.
Download Form 8 (pdf) here or else ask the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) to send you a copy.
The notes that accompany the form give full details about how to complete it and what extra documents you will need to support your application.
The supporting documents required include evidence of your identity and nationality (long-form birth certificate and passport, national identity card or travel document). You will also need to produce documents relating to your status and the duration of your stay in the State, such as your Garda registration book or certificate, declaration of refugee status, work permit etc.
As your application for naturalisation is based on your marriage to an Irish citizen, you will need to produce the documents needed to show your spouse’s status and evidence of your marital status (e.g. birth or naturalisation certificate of Irish spouse, long-form marriage certificate).
As well as these documents, you must produce documents relevant to your financial and employment status (payslips for the previous three months, bank statements for the previous three months) and confirmation of your income tax situation. You should only send copies of the above documents with your application form. You will be expected to produce the original documents for inspection at a later stage during the examination of your application.
The information in your application form will be checked against the supporting documentation and any inaccuracy will lead to delays in ruling on your application.
You should not sign the form until you are in the presence of the person who must witness you signing it. The application form contains instructions about who is eligible to be a witness.
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
13/14 Burgh QuayDublin 2IRELANDTel: +353 1 616 7700Locall: 1890 551 500Fax: +353 1 616 7767Homepage: http://www.justice.ie