Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Irish Citizenship

If you have at least one parent, grandparent or, possibly, a great-grandparent who was born in Ireland then you may be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship. Dual citizenship is allowed for many countries, including Ireland the United States and Australia. Once you become an Irish citizen any children born to you (after your citizenship is granted) will also be eligible for citizenship. Citizenship also allows you the right to apply for an Irish passport which grants you membership in the European Union and the right to travel, live or work in any of its fifteen member states: Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Anyone born in Ireland are automatically granted Irish citizenship. You are also automatically considered an Irish citizen if you are born outside of Ireland to a mother or father who was born in Ireland. A person born in Northern Ireland after December 1922 with a parent or grandparent born in Ireland prior to December 1922 is automatically an Irish citizen.
Even if you always assumed that your grandparents were English, you might want to check their birth records to learn if they really meant England - or if they were possibly born in Ulster, the province which is Northern Ireland. Although occupied by the British, the Irish constitution claims Northern Ireland to be part of the Republic of Ireland, therefore most people born in Northern Ireland prior to 1922 are Irish by birth. If this applies to your parent or grandparent, then you are also considered to be an Irish citizen.

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1956 provides that certain persons born outside of Ireland may claim Irish citizenship by descent.Anyone born outside Ireland whose grandmother or grandfather, but not his or her parents, were born in Ireland may become an Irish citizen by registering in the Irish Foreign Births Register (FBR) at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin or at the nearest Irish Embassy or Consular Office.
There are also certain limited circumstances where you may be eligible to obtain Irish citizenship through your great-grandmother or great-grandfather. This can be a bit complicated, but basically if your great-grandparent was born in Ireland and your parent used that relationship to register as an Irish Citizen by Descent by the time of your birth, then you are also eligible to register for Irish citizenship. Citizenship by descent is not automatic and must be acquired through application

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