Naturalisation in Ireland means the process whereby a foreign national living in Ireland may apply to become an Irish citizen. In order to apply for naturalisation in Ireland, you must have been physically resident in Ireland for a certain length of time.
All applications to become a naturalised Irish citizen are decided by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. This Minister has absolute discretion as to whether or not to grant naturalisation. There are strict rules about applying for naturalisation as an Irish citizen and these rules are set out below.
If you wish to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, you must:
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has power to waive one or more of the conditions for naturalisation in the following circumstances:
Reckonable residence means periods of residence taken into account when examining an application for naturalisation. Certain periods of residence may be excluded from the reckoning when calculating periods of residence in the State. These are periods when your presence in the State was not properly documented or (in certain cases) periods covered by a permission to remain that was for study purposes (that is, you were on a student visa) or while having a claim for asylum examined.
The time that a EEA or Swiss citizen has spent in the State is reckonable for naturalisation purposes as EEA and Swiss citizens are not required to have residence permits or documents under the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) (No. 2) Regulations 2006 (pdf). The European Economic Area (EEA) comprises the EU member states, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
If you are not a citizen of an EEA member state or Switzerland, any period where you were required by law to have permission to remain in the State, but did not, will not be reckoned. You should remember that certain foreign nationals are exempted by law from the requirement to have permission to remain. In addition, periods of residence in the State will not be reckoned that were covered by a permission to remain if that permission:
You will normally receive acknowledgement of the receipt of your application and accompanying documentation within 15 working days. You will be given a reference number and you should quote this number when making queries either by phone or in writing. You do not have to pay any fee at this stage as you will be asked to pay if and when your application is approved.
Your application is processed in chronological order along with all other applications that are on hand. The process of dealing with applications that have been properly completed and are accompanied by all of the necessary documentation is currently taking around 24 months from the time of receiving the application. For incorrect or incomplete applications, the process is longer, but you can keep it as short as possible by replying quickly to any queries.
If further documentation or clarification is needed, you will be asked for it once processing of your application has begun.
You will be informed by registered post as soon as a decision has been made on your application.
If your application is approved, the letter notifying you of this decision will contain instructions regarding the final procedures that must be completed before the certificate of naturalisation can be issued. These procedures include swearing an oath of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State (usually done before a Judge of the District Court - the letter will give details of this procedure) and paying the appropriate fee.
Once the appropriate procedures have been finalised, a certificate of naturalisation will normally issue within 30 days. You are an Irish citizen from the date of issue of the certificate and you can apply to the Department of Foreign Affairs for an Irish passport any time after that date.
If the name of a child of yours is entered on your certificate of naturalisation, that entry will be regarded as a certificate of naturalisation for your child.
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform can revoke your certificate of naturalisation if:
Before revoking your certificate of naturalisation, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform will inform you in advance, stating the reasons why the certificate is being revoked and your right to apply to the Minister for an inquiry into the reasons for the revocation. If you apply for an inquiry into a decision to revoke your certificate of naturalisation, the Minister will refer your case to a Committee of Inquiry, which will report its findings to the Minister. A notice of the revocation of your certificate of naturalisation will be published in Iris Oifigiúil (Ireland's official State Gazette).
The following are the relevant fees for people whose applications for naturalisation have been accepted.
You can get the relevant application forms from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. The application forms are:
The notes that accompany each form give full details on to complete the form and the supporting documentation that is required.
The supporting documents required include evidence of your identity and nationality (long-form birth certificate and passport, national identity card or travel document) and, if you are married, your marriage certificate. You also need to produce documents relating to your status and the duration of your stay in the State (Garda registration book or certificate, declaration of refugee status, work permit or the like).
If your application for naturalisation is based on your relationship to an Irish citizen, you will need to produce the documents needed to show that person's status and your relationship to that person (for example birth or naturalisation certificate of Irish spouse, marriage certificate).
As well as these documents, you must produce documents relevant to your financial and employment status (payslips for the previous 3 months, bank statements for the previous 3 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