Irish Citizenship (Foreign Birth Registration FBR) The basics

 

As per the chart above, you may be eligible for Irish citizenship by descent, if you qualify under the criteria of which generation you are that was born outside of Ireland.

Secondary to that then is if your parent registered Irish or not, if required.

You are automatically an Irish citizen if one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, and was born on the island of Ireland. You don't need to apply to become an Irish citizen in this case, you simply apply for your Irish passport with proof of your parent's birth on the island of Ireland and your parent's marriage certificate and your Unabridged Birht certificate in SA.

 

If you were born outside of Ireland, you can become an Irish citizen if:

  1. One of your grandparents was born in Ireland, or;
  2. One of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, even though they were not born in Ireland.

In these cases, you can become an Irish citizen through Foreign Birth Registration.

Once a person is entered onto the Foreign Births Register they are an Irish citizen and entitled to apply for an Irish passport.

 

If you have been adopted, under the following circumstances, then you are an Irish citizen:

  1. If you were born to non Irish parents, but adopted by an Irish citizen or couple, then you are considered an Irish citizen
  2. If an Irish citizen is living in a country other than Ireland, and they adopt a child, the adoption needs to be entered into the Register of Intercounty Adoptions, and once the adoption has been registered, the same laws apply as if the adoption occurred within the State.

If you are an expectant parent applying to be entered on the Foreign Birth Register, you should mark this clearly on your application and contact Pretoria Irish Embassy ASAP to get it processed quickly

 


Am I eligible for Irish Citizenship?

Go straight here to fill in this checker: HERE

 

If you respond "One of my grandparents was born on the island of Ireland, including Northern Ireland"

You are most likely entitled to Irish citizenship

Your answers indicate that you are most likely entitled to be an Irish citizen, because one of your parents was born on the island of Ireland. This entitlement is not affected by when or where you were born.

There are some exceptions to this rule, eg if you were born to a foreign diplomat based in Ireland. Read about exceptions in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts.

Contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to apply.

 

If you respond "One of my great-grandparents was born on the island of Ireland, including Northern Ireland"

You may be entitled to Irish citizenship

Your answers indicate that you may be entitled to Irish citizenship because one of your great-grandparents was born on the island of Ireland. This entitlement is not affected by where you were born.

To become an Irish citizen, your great-grandparent's grandchild (ie: your parent) who is of Irish descent must have registered in the Foreign Births Register between the years 1956 and 1986,

or if you were born after 1986 they registered before you were born.

The Foreign Births Register is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

 

FAQ on FBR

 


The other ways to get Irish citizenship involves living on the island of Ireland under an approved entry and residence stamp, for example work permits, and apply via naturalisation or you can try the Irish association route once you show strong Irish ties:

Applications based on Irish Descent or Irish Associations

Persons born outside of Ireland who have an Irish national grandparent born in Ireland may obtain Irish citizenship through registration in the Foreign Births Register (maintained by Department of Foreign Affairs https://www.dfa.ie/citizenship).

Minister’s Discretion in cases of Irish Descent or Irish Associations

Section 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended gives the Minister the absolute discretion to waive the statutory conditions in certain circumstances, including where the applicant is of Irish descent or Irish associations (defined as related through blood, affinity or adoption to a person who is or is entitled to be an Irish citizen).

Section 16; (2) For the purposes of this section a person is of Irish associations if:

  • (a) he or she is related by blood, affinity or adoption to, or is the civil partner of, a person who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen, or
  • (b) he or she was related by blood, affinity or adoption to, or was the civil partner of, a person who is deceased and who, at the time of his or her death, was an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen.

The fact that the Act provides for the use of discretion should not be taken that it is policy to do so on the sole basis of Irish descent or Irish associations. There is no right or entitlement to have any of the statutory conditions waived even where the applicant comes within the certain circumstances defined. It is entirely at the Minister’s discretion and this discretion is used very rarely and only under the most exceptional and compelling circumstances.

An application under Section 16 of the Act that relies on Irish associations and affinity should be supported by substantive documentation supporting the claim, documentation that in the view of the Minister renders the application exceptional and one where the normal pathways to citizenship provided for under the legislation are not appropriate.

Applications for naturalisation are often received where the applicant seeks the Minister to exercise absolute discretion under Section 16 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended to waive the statutory conditions on the basis of Irish descent or Irish associations going back two, three or indeed more generations. An association going back two generations without any other link to the State is generally considered as not sufficient to warrant consideration or the waiving of the statutory residence conditions.

 

Applicants who seek to avail of the discretion provided under Section 16 of the Act are expected to have a reasonable period of lawful residence in the State,

generally around 3 years, to show they have some substantial and tangible connection with Irish society and the State.

An Irish association through a great-grandparent, (or a grandparent where that grandparent obtained citizenship through naturalisation)

and where there is no, or negligible, reckonable residency would generally be deemed insufficient to warrant recommending

the Minister exercise absolute discretion to waive the statutory conditions under Section 15 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956,

as amended and would result in a refusal.

 

As citizenship is generally by descent, an application claiming an Irish association by ‘ascent’ (i.e. based on being the parent of Irish citizen children) or through Irish citizen siblings is not considered as sufficient to warrant or justify recommending the Minister exercise absolute discretion to waive the statutory conditions, in the absence of exceptional and compelling reasons.

Generally for Irish Association cases there is a requirement to undertake enhanced enquiries, including with third countries, such checks will include identity and financial checks (anti-money laundering, counter terrorist financing), accordingly the processing time vary considerable.

At present Irish association cases are taking in excess of 30 months to process.

 


Other Irish ancestors

Unless at least one parent or an Irish-born grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you have no automatic right to Irish citizenship on the basis of extended previous ancestry (that is, ancestors other than your parents or grandparents). In addition, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis that a relation such as a cousin, aunt or uncle was an Irish citizen if none of your parents or grandparents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.

You can, however, apply for citizenship based on Irish associations, which is at the discretion of the Minister. Irish association means that you are related by blood or through adoption to an Irish citizen.

If you are considering making an application based on Irish descent or association, you should note the following:

  • You should have a reasonable period of legal residence in Ireland (at least 3 years) to show that you have a connection to Ireland.
  • Applications based on descent from an Irish citizen going further back than a great-grandparent are generally refused.
  • Applications based on being the parent or grandparent of an Irish citizen (by ‘ascent’), or the brother or sister of an Irish citizen are generally refused.
  • Applications based on Irish descent or associations can take up to 30 months to process.

You can read more about applying for citizenship based on Irish descent or associations on the ISD website.

You can use the online tool on the Immigration Service Delivery website to check if you are an Irish citizen by birth or descent.

 

Citizensinformation linked HERE


Unless at least one parent or an Irish-born grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you have no automatic right to Irish citizenship on the basis of extended previous ancestry (that is, ancestors other than your parents or grandparents). In addition, you cannot claim Irish citizenship on the basis that a relation such as a cousin, aunt or uncle was an Irish citizen if none of your parents or grandparents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.

You can, however, apply for citizenship based on Irish associations, which is at the discretion of the Minister. Irish association means that you are related by blood or through adoption to an Irish citizen.

If you are considering making an application based on Irish descent or association, you should note the following:

  • You should have a reasonable period of legal residence in Ireland (at least 3 years) to show that you have a connection to Ireland.
  • Applications based on descent from an Irish citizen going further back than a great-grandparent are generally refused.
  • Applications based on being the parent or grandparent of an Irish citizen (by ‘ascent’), or the brother or sister of an Irish citizen are generally refused.
  • Applications based on Irish descent or associations can take up to 30 months to process.

Citizens Information

 


 

Important links: 

 

  #MapMyMove- Our coaching Services - Confused or lost and need some direction, book a session with us to help untangle the confusion and work out your route of immigration

   Foreign Birth Registration

  Getting prepared for your Foreign Birth registration

   FBR application if you are pregnant (BLOG)

   Retention of SA Citizenship - We highly recommend everyone read this BEFORE apply for a passport of another country

   Citizens Information

   Ordering Irish birth, marriage or death certificates

   Trace my Genealogy - a helpful member who does ancestry searches

  Applying for first time Irish passport (2022)- this will download as a .pdf in your device's download files

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