1. Who can apply for Irish citizenship?
Non-EEA citizens can apply for Irish citizenship once they have had 5 years’ reckonable residency. Reckonable residency generally includes Stamp 1, Stamp 3, Stamp 4 and Stamp 5. Adults should complete Form 8.
There are some exceptions:
Refugees can apply after 3 years’ residence in the State from the date they arrived in the country not from when they were granted their refugee status
Spouses/civil partners of Irish citizens can apply after they have been resident for three years in the country. They must also have been married to their Irish spouse/civil partner for 3 years.
Anyone applying based on Irish Associations can apply after 3 years in the country.
Irish Associations is when you are related by blood, affinity or adoption to an Irish citizen.
EU citizens can apply after 5 years’ residence in the country.
2. What documents do I need to provide for my citizenship application?
Every application should include the following:
A copy of the photo page of your current passport/travel document and previous passports. You need to send the original of your current and previous passports. They will be returned to you in 4 weeks.
A certified copy of your original civil birth certificate and certified translation
2 colour passport photographs taken within the last 30 days (signed and dated by the witness who signs your Statutory Declaration - page 14 of Form 8)
A copy of your GNIB card
Three different proofs of residence for each year of residence claimed (for example, three proofs for 2016, three proofs for 2015 and so on. Proof of residence can include bank statements, utility bills, mortgage/rent agreements, revenue letters, doctor's letters, letters from social welfare, letters from employment)
Copies of your bank statements for all of your bank accounts for 3 out of the last 6 months
Copy of online residency checker (fill this out on the INIS website: www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Naturalisation_Residency_Calculator)
The Statutory Application Fee of €175
If you are working you should include the following:
A letter from your current employer stating when you started working for them
A copy of your P60s for each year of residence claimed
Copies of three recent pay slips in the last 6 months.
If you have refugee status you should also provide:
A copy of the letter confirming your refugee status
If you are the spouse/civil partner of an Irish citizen you should also provide:
Certified copy of documentary proof of your Irish spouse/civil partner’s entitlement to Irish citizenship, for example, birth certificate, certificate of naturalisation
Certified copy of your marriage certificate
Sworn affidavit completed by your Irish spouse or civil partner (this is included in the application form)
Copies of 3 different proofs of address in Ireland in your name and your spouse/civil partner’s name for the 3 months before you make your application showing date, name and current address, for example, household bills, bank statements, documents from the tax office, mortgage agreement, letter from social welfare, letter from employment or doctor’s letter.
If you are applying based on Irish Associations you should also provide:
Certified copies of all documentation proving your Irish Associations, for example, birth certificate, marriage certificate.
3. My friend told me that I need a solicitor to stamp all of the documents. Is this true?
No. You need a solicitor to witness your signature on the Statutory Declaration and to certify the following documents:
A black and white copy of your original civil birth certificate and certified translation (for all applications, if you have a birth certificate)
A black and white copy of your marriage certificate/civil partnership registration (only for spouses/civil partners of Irish citizens)
Copy of documentary proof of your Irish spouse/civil partner's entitlement to Irish citizenship (only for spouses/civil partners of Irish citizens)
Copies of documents proving your Irish Associations (only for applications under Irish Associations).
The witness must also sign and date the back of your two passport size photographs.
4. How do I complete the Statutory Declaration?
You must take your completed application form to a solicitor, commissioner for oaths, notary public or peace commissioner. You should not fill out the Statutory Declaration before you go to the solicitor. You should to the following in front of the solicitor:
Write your full name in box A1
Sign your signature in box A2
Write the date in box A3
The solicitor will complete the rest of the form. You can either be known personally to the solicitor, be introduced to the solicitor by someone they already know or bring photographic proof of your identity.
Make sure that the date the solicitor writes on the Statutory Declaration (W4) is very clearly the same as the date you wrote in box A3. The date must include the day, month and year. If this is not clearly the same or if you have not written your full name in box A1 your application will be refused and you will not be refunded the application fee of €175.
5. I am 17 years old. My mother just got her citizenship. Can I also apply for citizenship?
No. You cannot apply for citizenship in your own right. Your mother can apply for you. She needs to complete Form 9 and submit this before you turn 18 years of age. You must have been resident in Ireland for 3 years before your mother can make this application.
6. I am 18 years old. My mother just got her citizenship. Can I also apply for citizenship?
You can apply if you have been living in Ireland for 5 years. Form 8 should be used. For time spent in Ireland as a minor your parent's residency may be used.
7. I recently got my Irish citizenship. My wife is living in Ireland for nearly 3 years. Can she apply for citizenship?
No. She must have been living in Ireland for 3 years before she applies. The time is based on her immigration stamps only.
She must also have one year continuous stamp on the date she applies. If there is any gap between her last immigration stamp and her current stamp then she might need to wait for another year before applying, for example, if she applies on 10th January 2018 then she will need to have an immigration stamp in her passport that is valid from 10 January 2017 until 10 January 2018.
8. My parents have Stamp 4. I am 22 years old. I have been living in Ireland since I was 14 years old. Can I apply for citizenship?
Yes. You can apply using Form 8. If you were granted Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A you can use these stamps to qualify for Irish citizenship as long as you originally came to Ireland to join your family. You should also provide letters from the schools you attended until you registered with the local Immigration Officer at the age of 16 and copies of your parent's permission to remain stamps for this period of time. You must make your application before you turn 24 years of age otherwise your Stamp 2/2A will not count towards your application.
9. My child was born in Ireland in 2006. I did not have 3 years’ reckonable residency for him to be in Irish citizen. Can I apply for citizenship for him now?
It might be possible if your child has been living in Ireland for 5 years and you have reckonable residency for example, Stamp 1, Stamp 3, Stamp 4 or Stamp 5 for those 5 years if you are a non-EEA citizen. If this is the case then you can apply for Irish citizenship for him using Form 11.
10. If I was getting a social welfare payment in the past will this affect my application for Irish citizenship?
Each application is individual. The final decision is made by the Minister for Justice and Equality. Generally if you have received a payment based on your PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) contributions (a benefit payment, for example, Jobseeker’s Benefit) then this probably won’t go against your application for citizenship.
11. If I have penalty points will this affect my application for Irish citizenship?
Each application is individual. The final decision is made by the Minister for Justice and Equality. You should include this information in Section 11 – Background of Form 8.
Remember if you don’t provide this information and it comes back on a Garda report then your application could be refused because you did not provide all necessary information.
12. I have two children. My first child was born outside Ireland and my youngest child was born in Ireland and is an Irish citizen. How do I apply for Irish citizenship for my eldest child?
You will first have to become an Irish citizen and then you can apply for your child as long as they are under 18 years of age. You will need to complete Form 9 once you become an Irish citizen. Otherwise, your child will have to wait until they are 18 years of age and apply for citizenship in their own right.
13. I do not have a birth certificate. Can I use a birth affidavit instead?
Yes. You should only use a birth affidavit if you never had a birth certificate or you cannot travel back to your country to get a birth certificate, for example, if you have refugee status.
14. Do I have to pay a fee when I send in my application?
Yes. There is a fee of €175. This is non-refundable. Your application can be refused if you:
Have not answered all of the questions on the form
Have not filled in your full name and signed the Statutory Declaration in the presence of a solicitor
Have not provided all of the required documentation
Have not submitted the fee of €175.
15. How should I pay the application fee of €175?
This must be paid by bank draft and should be made payable to the Secretary General, Department of Justice and Equality. This fee is non-refundable. If your application is refused, this fee will not be returned to you.
16. Do the people who act as my references have to be born in Ireland?
No, but they must be Irish citizens.
17. Who can I ask to act as a reference for my citizenship application?
You can ask anyone who is an Irish citizen and who knows you, for example, your neighbour, your work colleague, your friends, your GP, the principal of your child’s school, your child’s teacher, the local priest.
18. Do I need to provide all of my addresses in Ireland?
You need to provide all of your addresses in the past 9 years. This could be in Ireland as well as abroad. If you are married to or the civil partner of an Irish citizen you should only provide your addresses for the last 5 years (both in Ireland and abroad).
19. How much does it cost to apply for Irish citizenship?
The standard fee for adults is €950 (plus the Statutory Application Fee of €175)
The standard fee for children under 18 years of age is €200 (plus the Statutory Application Fee of €175)
The fee for a person who was married to or the civil partner of an Irish citizen who has died is €200 (plus the Statutory Application Fee of €175). The person must not have become a naturalised citizen of another country since the death of their spouse/civil partner.
People with refugee status are only required to pay the Statutory Application Fee of €175.
20. I filled in the residency calculator at www.inis.gov.ie. It says that I have 5 years’ residency but that the year prior to application is not continuous. What does this mean?
This means that there is a gap between your immigration stamps in the last year. In order to apply for citizenship you must have one year continuous stamp in your passport, for example, if you apply on 10th January 2018 then you will need to have an immigration stamp in your passport that is valid from 10 January 2017 until 10 January 2018 or two stamps that overlap so there is no gap.
You will have to wait until you have a full year based only on your immigration stamp before you can apply for citizenship.
21. What happens after I submit my application for Irish citizenship?
Once you submit your application the Citizenship Section will check to make sure all the questions have been answered, that you meet the residency requirements and that you have included all of the required documents.
If everything is correct then you will be issued with an application number and your application will go into the queue for processing.
It is very important that you inform the Citizenship Section of any change in your address during the processing of your application.
22. I am an international student in Ireland. Can I apply for citizenship?
No. If you came to Ireland for the main purpose of studying here and you have Stamp 1A, Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A these stamps are not counted as reckonable residency for Irish citizenship.
If you have Stamp 2 or Stamp 2A and originally came to Ireland to join your family then these stamps are reckonable. See question 8 above.
23. When will my original passports be returned to me?
The Citizenship Section will usually keep your passports for a month and after checking them they will be returned to you. If you plan to travel around the time you submit your application it is better to wait until you return to Ireland and then submit your application.