You can become an Irish citizen by naturalisation if you meet certain criteria, based on issues such as length of time living in Ireland or marriage to an Irish citizen.
Who can apply?
In order to apply for Irish citizenship, you must be living in Ireland for at least 5 years prior to application. In the case of a refugee or a stateless person, the Minister will normally waive 2 of the 5 years’ reckonable residence requirement, meaning that 3 years will be satisfactory. The eligibility criteria:
- The applicant must be living in the State for five of the nine years preceding the application. The last year of this period must be continuous residence.
- The applicant must be a resident in the State;
- The applicant must be 18 years of age or older (or married or be a minor born in the state);
- The applicant must satisfy the Minister that they are of good character.
- The applicant must satisfy the Minister that they intend to live in Ireland after naturalisation.
- The applicant must make a formal declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State.
For Detailed information on the Eligibility criteria: visit the INIS website here.
Under a new scorecard system, you must have 150 points in both identification and residency. ISD’s spreadsheet explains how much points you get for different types of documents.
Living in Ireland for 5 years
The 5 year rule is known as ‘reckonable residence’. There are strict conditions surrounding ‘reckonable residence’. For example, time spent living in Ireland while claiming asylum is not accepted as ‘reckonable residence’. Similarly, time spent in Ireland for the purposes of study (while holding a student visa) is not accepted as ‘reckonable residence’. In the case of a refugee or a stateless person, the Minister will normally waive 2 of the 5 years’ reckonable residence requirement, meaning that 3 years will be satisfactory.
You must use the online residency calculator on the INIS website to check if you meet the naturalisation residency conditions. You must then print a copy of the results and include it in your application.
If you are unsure of the dates of your immigration stamp history, you can write to the Garda National Immigration Bureau for a record of your immigration history.
How to apply?
You must download the relevant application form from the INIS website (available here).
There are four different types of application form:
1) For adult applications (person over the age of 18 years): Form 8 (person over 18 years);
2) For minor child applications (under the age of 18 years): Form 9 for a minor child of a naturalised Irish citizen.
3) Form 10 for a minor child of Irish descent or Irish associations. This is an e-form, which is filled in electronically/ online.
4) Form 11 for a minor child born in the State without an entitlement to Irish citizenship. This is an e-form, which is filled in electronically/ online.
5) Form 5 is an annual registration form and declaration of intention to retain Irish citizenship for a naturalised Irish citizen resident outside Ireland.
The application must be completed and returned to the address provided, along with the necessary documentation and application fee of €175. There are additional charges to be paid once the certificate is issued
There are different requirements according to the Form/type of application. The required documents listed below are only for adult applications (Form 8).
- Original of your current passport and any previous passports valid during periods of residence in the State, together with a photocopy of the biometric page of each passport (the passport will be returned after at least 4 weeks).
- The Statutory Application Fee of €175 in the form of a Banker’s Draft only, made payable to the Secretary General, Department of Justice and Equality.
- A certified copy of your birth certificate, and a copy of a translation into English if relevant.
- 2 recent colour photographs (no more than 30 days old) signed and dated on the back by the witness who signs the Statutory Declaration;
- Copy of current Irish Residence Permit (formerly known as GNIB – Garda National Immigration Bureau – card);
- Three different proofs of residence for each year of residence claimed, showing your name and address and date of issue, e.g. mortgage/rent agreement, household bills (gas, electricity, phone or cable/satellite TV), bank statements, revenue letters, social welfare, letter from employment, etc.
- Letter from current employer showing dates of starting employment; copies of 3 recent pay slips (no older than 6 months); and copies of your P60 or tax statement from the Revenue Commissioners for each year of residence;
- Copies of bank statements for all of your bank accounts for at least 3 of the previous 6 months;
- Evidence of marriage if relevant (*Certified copies of marriage certificate);
- Copy of your completed Online Residency Checker
- Copy of Public Services Card (PSC), issued when registering with the Department of Social Protection.
*Certified copy = Take original document or certificate to a solicitor. They will make a copy of the document and sign/ stamp it for you.
For assistance with citizenship applications, please contact the Citizens Information Centre on Catherine Street, Limerick, at the contact details above.
NEED ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION?
The Citizen’s Information Centre can assist you with the application process.
Citizens’ Information Centre
54 Catherine Street
0761 075 780
OPEN: Monday 9.30am – 4.30pm