Applying For Irish Citizenship

Who is entitled?

Have you had a valid stamp 1, 3 or 4 in your passport for at least 60 months out of the last nine years?

Are you married to an Irish Citizen and had stamp 1,3 or 4 in your passport for at least three years?

B Descent Do you have an Irish grandparent born on the island of Ireland? Or a grandparent not born in Ireland but whose birth was registered on the register of foreign births before your parent’s birth,

C Irish Association – Have some relative (say great grand-parent ) from and affinity to, Ireland.

How to obtain citizenship Naturalisation. This is made by application to the Department of Justice and Equality by completing and submitting the most recent application form with supporting documentation.

How we can help:

In straightforward cases, we will assess your application and ensure it is properly completed and that the appropriate documentation is submitted to ensure quick processing. We can arrange to have a solicitor swear the necessary declarations and certify all copy documents.

Not straightforward? Where you are unsure whether you meet the residency requirements or do not have all the relevant documents, we can advise you how to approach the situation and make submissions to ensure your application has the best possible chance of success.

What can go wrong? The Minister has discretion whether to grant citizenship or not but he must act fairly in making that decision.

Criminal convictions of even the most minor type of road traffic offence and the smallest social welfare claims have in the past been used as grounds to refuse citizenship. It is possible to challenge refusals in some circumstances.

Sometimes the passport does not accurately record all time spent in Ireland when the applicant should have had a stamp endorsed in their passport. Where the passport does not have the appropriate stamps or the passport is not available, we can make submissions based on entitlement to be in the state.

Sample cases:

(a) Our client was denied citizenship on the basis of criminal convictions. When we obtained the list of convictions they all related to our client’s brother. We requested an internal review of the decision (there is no appeal procedure) and this was carried out and the application was granted within weeks.

(b) Our client was refused on the basis that he did not have good character with no clear reasons given as to why that conclusion was reached. We obtained leave in the High Court to challenge the decision and the Department of Justice agreed to set aside the decision and give a new decision.


How we can help.

Applications for Foreign Birth Registration are made to the nearest consulate or embassy and we can assist in ensuring the necessary forms are completed correctly and the necessary documents enclosed to ensure a smooth approval process.

What can go wrong? Sometimes the trail of documents is incomplete and requires supporting documentation.

Sample cases:

(a) Our client’s grandparent was born in Ireland but changed her name on the voyage to the United States! It was necessary to prepare a detailed affidavit setting out the changes of names to prove the link to the Irish ancestor in order for the application to succeed.

Irish Association

The Minister is entitled to waive the normal requirements in certain circumstances and will often do so where an applicant has a blood affinity to Ireland and has lived here for three years.

How we can help?

We can ensure the necessary application form is properly completed and the required supporting documentation is supplied. We can advocate the reasons why the Minister should waive the normal requirements in the specific circumstances of each case.

Sample case:

(a) Our client is an outstanding sportsperson who had an Irish great grand- parent but did not have a grandparent born in Ireland, nor had he lived in Ireland for any appreciable period. We advocated on the basis that the applicant wished to represent Ireland in his chosen sport and the application was successful.


‘I wanted to write you to let you know that I received a letter today from the Justice Department saying that the Minister intends to grant me citizenship.

'Thank you for all of your work on my behalf- I am very eager to move forward as well as completely honoured at the opportunity.’

‘I can't thank you enough for your diligent handling of this process.’

Contact McGrath McGrane

If you are thinking of engaging a lawyer, why not contact us today to see if we can assist? Any of our solicitors will be delighted to speak with you without obligation.

McGrath McGrane Solicitors

Phone: +353 (0) 1 873 5012

Fax: +353 (0) 1 873 5024