Immigration Advice Service
03334149244 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6 pm

Find an office

20 offices in the UK


We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 7000 applications approved
We are now open 7 days a week from 8.30 am to 6 pm.
4.7 rating 2649 reviews

Irish Citizenship by Descent

Irish citizenship by descent is a pathway to becoming an Irish citizen for those who have Irish ancestry, either through their parents, grandparents, or other specific circumstances. To qualify for Irish citizenship by descent, one must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria can vary depending on the specific route taken to claim citizenship.

Experienced advisors at IAS are ready to assist you at every step of your journey towards Irish citizenship by descent. Call us today at 44 (0)333 305 9375.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 2649 reviews Logo

    Who qualifies for Irish citizenship by descent?

    If you or your parents were born on the island of Ireland before 2005, you are an Irish citizen, and you can apply for an Irish passport without making an application for citizenship. However, if you or your parents were born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005, your eligibility for Irish citizenship is contingent upon the citizenship status of your parents at the time of your birth and the residency history of one of the parents before your birth.

    Eligibility criteria for claiming Irish citizenship by Descent

    Irish Citizenship When Born Abroad to Irish Citizen Parents

    You are eligible if one or both of your parents were Irish citizens at the time of your birth. For instance, If your mother was an Irish citizen when you were born abroad, you qualify for Irish citizenship by descent.

    Irish Citizen Parent Born Outside Ireland

    If you have a parent who was born outside Ireland but is an Irish citizen by birth or descent, you may qualify for Irish citizenship. For instance, your father was born in the United Kingdom to Irish parents, making him an Irish citizen by descent. You can claim Irish citizenship through him.

    Citizenship through Descent from an Irish Grandparent

    You can claim Irish citizenship if you have an Irish grandparent. For instance, your maternal grandmother was born in Ireland. You are eligible to apply for Irish citizenship by descent through your maternal line.

    Irish Citizenship through Adoption

    If you’ve been legally adopted by Irish citizens, you can claim Irish citizenship. For example, you were adopted as a child by an Irish couple living in the United States, making you eligible for Irish citizenship through adoption.

    Born in Ireland

    If you were born in Ireland, you automatically acquire Irish citizenship, regardless of your parents’ nationality. For instance, you were born in Dublin, Ireland, and are an Irish citizen by birthright.

    Born on the Island of Ireland before 2005

    If you or your parents were born on the island of Ireland before 2005, you are an Irish citizen. For example, your father was born in Belfast in 1980, and you were born in England. You are eligible for Irish citizenship because your father was born in Northern Ireland.

    Born on the Island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005

    Your right to Irish citizenship depends on your parents’ citizenship at the time of your birth and one of your parents’ residency history before your birth. For example, your parents, both non-Irish citizens, were living in Ireland for five years before your birth in 2010. You are eligible for Irish citizenship based on residency history.

    Secure your Irish Citizenship by descent today. Contact our team of experts for assistance. Contact Us

      Fill out the form

      Documentation and Application Process

      The documentation and application processes for individuals who meet the requirements for Irish citizenship through descent can vary depending on the specific route they are taking. Here, we’ll provide a general overview of the steps involved:

      • Determine Your Eligibility: Before starting the application process, ensure that you meet the specific eligibility criteria for the route you are taking to claim Irish citizenship by descent. This may involve confirming your or your parents’ Irish citizenship status, birthplaces, and other relevant factors.
      • Gather Required Documents: Collect all the necessary documentation to support your application. The specific documents you need will depend on your unique circumstances and the route you are using. Commonly required documents may include:
        • Birth certificates (yours and, if applicable, your parents’ and grandparents’).
        • Marriage certificates.
        • Passport copies.
        • Proof of residency history (if required).
        • Adoption papers (for those claiming citizenship through adoption).
        • Any additional documents requested by the Irish authorities.
      • Complete Application Forms: Obtain the appropriate application forms for claiming Irish citizenship through descent. You can typically find these forms on the website of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or at the nearest Irish embassy or consulate. Carefully fill out the forms, providing accurate and complete information.

      How to get an Irish citizenship by descent from UK

      To obtain Irish citizenship by descent from the UK, you must gather essential documents, including your birth certificate, your Irish-born grandparent or parent’s birth certificate, marriage certificates if applicable, proof of your grandparent or parent’s Irish citizenship, and your passport. Ensure your Irish grandparent or parent met the citizenship criteria at your birth. Choose the application route, either through the Irish embassy/consulate in the UK or directly in Ireland.

      Complete the application form, submit it with the required documents, and pay the application fee. Await processing, which may take several months, and be prepared for a potential interview. Once approved, you can apply for an Irish passport to fully enjoy the privileges of Irish citizenship. Verify current requirements with the Irish authorities before applying.

      Cost of Irish citizenship by Descent Application

      The cost of applying for Irish citizenship by descent can vary depending on several factors, including the specific route you’re taking, where you apply, and any additional services you may require. The primary cost associated with the application is the application fee itself. As of September 2023, the fee for an adult Irish citizenship application is €175.

      Our top immigration lawyers can assist you in obtaining your Irish Citizenship by descent without hassle. Contact us today. Contact Us

        Fill out the form

        Foreign Birth Registration


        Foreign Birth Registration is a vital process for individuals born outside of Ireland who wish to claim Irish citizenship by descent. This procedure allows those with Irish ancestry to officially register as Irish citizens, providing them with the rights, privileges, and opportunities that come with Irish citizenship. In this section, we will delve into the process of Foreign Birth Registration, including step-by-step instructions and the necessary requirements.

        The Process of Foreign Birth Registration

        Foreign Birth Registration involves a series of steps that require careful attention to detail. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

        1. Determine Eligibility: Before beginning the FBR process, it’s crucial to confirm your eligibility. To qualify, you must be able to prove that you have an Irish-born grandparent or parent who was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth. This typically requires providing detailed documentation, including birth certificates and other relevant records.
        2. Gather Required Documentation: To initiate the FBR process, you’ll need to collect various documents, which can include but are not limited to:
        • Your Birth Certificate: Your birth certificate, issued by the relevant authorities in your country of birth, is essential to prove your identity and place of birth.
        • Parent’s or Grandparent’s Irish Documents: To establish the Irish connection, you will need documents such as your parent’s or grandparent’s birth certificate, Irish passport, or other proof of their Irish citizenship.
        • Marriage and Divorce Certificates: In some cases, you may be required to provide marriage and divorce certificates for your parents or grandparents to prove the lineage.
        1. Obtain Translations and Apostilles: If your documents are not in English or Irish, you will need to have them translated by a certified translator. Additionally, some countries require an apostille or equivalent certification to verify the authenticity of foreign documents.
        2. Submit Your Application: Prepare a complete application package, including all required documents, translations, and any fees. Ensure that your application is filled out accurately and that all documents are in order.
        3. Await Processing: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for the Irish authorities to process your request. The processing time can vary, so it’s a good idea to inquire about the estimated wait time when submitting your application.
        4. Receive Confirmation: Once your Foreign Birth Registration is approved, you will receive a certificate confirming your Irish citizenship. This certificate is a crucial document that you can use to obtain an Irish passport and access various rights and benefits associated with Irish citizenship.
        5. Apply for an Irish Passport: With your Foreign Birth Registration certificate in hand, you can apply for an Irish passport. An Irish passport allows you to travel as an Irish citizen and provides additional proof of your Irish nationality.

        Born in Ireland

        If you are born in Ireland, you automatically acquire Irish citizenship under the principle of jus soli, granting you a range of rights and privileges. These include the ability to apply for an Irish passport, which provides visa-free access to various countries and consular assistance abroad. As an Irish citizen, you have access to Ireland’s public healthcare and education systems, can participate in national and local elections once you reach the voting age, and enjoy equal employment opportunities within the country.

        Additionally, you are entitled to the protection of Irish law and the Irish Constitution, ensuring access to fair trials and legal services. While no further registration is required to confirm your citizenship, you can obtain official documentation such as an Irish passport or Citizenship Certificate if needed for various purposes.

        Irish citizenship when you are born abroad

        Irish citizenship when born abroad is granted to individuals who can establish a direct lineage to an Irish citizen parent. To qualify, the individual must provide evidence of their Irish parent’s citizenship and their own relationship to that parent, typically through birth certificates and marriage certificates. Additionally, the Irish citizen parent should have registered the birth with the Irish authorities or obtained a foreign birth registration for the child.

        The application process involves submitting these documents to the relevant Irish authorities, such as the Irish embassy or consulate in their country of residence. Once the documentation is verified, and eligibility is confirmed, the individual can obtain Irish citizenship, providing them with the rights and privileges associated with being an Irish citizen.

        Applying for Irish Citizenship by descent may be challenging. Contact our legal experts for guidance and assistance today. Contact Us

          Fill out the form

          Irish citizen parent born outside Ireland

          Irish citizenship can be claimed by individuals who have an Irish citizen parent born outside of Ireland. To be eligible, one must provide sufficient documentation to establish their parent’s Irish citizenship, which typically includes the parent’s birth certificate and any relevant naturalization documents if applicable. Additionally, the applicant needs to prove their relationship to the Irish citizen parent through birth certificates or other legal records.

          The guidance for this process involves gathering all necessary documentation, completing the relevant application forms, and submitting them to the appropriate authorities, typically the Irish embassy or consulate.

          Citizenship through descent from Irish grandparent

          Individuals seeking Irish citizenship through descent from an Irish grandparent must meet specific requirements and follow a precise application process. To qualify, the applicant’s grandparent must have been born on the island of Ireland, and documentary evidence such as the grandparent’s birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable) must be provided. Additionally, the applicant must demonstrate a genuine link to Irish culture, including language or cultural ties.

          The application process typically involves submitting these documents to the Irish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence. The processing time can vary, so it’s advisable to check with the relevant authorities for the most current estimates and requirements to claim Irish citizenship through descent from an Irish grandparent.

          Irish citizenship through adoption

          Irish citizenship through adoption allows individuals who have been adopted by Irish citizens to claim Irish citizenship. To qualify, the adoptive parents must be Irish citizens, and the adoption must be legally recognized in Ireland. The process typically involves submitting an application to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, along with supporting documents such as the adoption order, proof of the adoptive parents’ Irish citizenship, and the applicant’s birth certificate.

          Applicants must also demonstrate a genuine and ongoing relationship with their adoptive parents. Once approved, individuals will receive Irish citizenship, granting them the same rights and privileges as any other Irish citizen.

          How long does it take to get Irish citizenship by descent?

          The timeline for obtaining Irish citizenship by descent can vary depending on several factors. For foreign birth registration, it typically takes several months to process the application, ranging from 6 to 12 months or more, depending on the volume of applications and the completeness of the submitted documentation. Irish passport applications, which are often the final step after citizenship approval, usually take approximately 4 to 6 weeks for standard processing, while expedited services may shorten this to 2 to 3 weeks.

          Citizenship applications, including those based on descent, can take several months to over a year from submission to decision, primarily influenced by factors such as application complexity and governmental processing times.

          Are you aware that you may be eligible for Irish Citizenship through adoption? Verify your qualifications today by reaching out to us. Contact Us

            Fill out the form

            How IAS Can Help

            For tailored support with your Irish Citizenship by Descent application, turn to IAS today. Our team of dedicated experts is committed to assisting you in realising your objectives, whether for personal or business reasons, while efficiently navigating the intricacies of the UK immigration system.

            We offer a wide range of services, from application guidance and document preparation to compliance assurance and ongoing support. Feel free to reach out to us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to arrange a consultation and embark on your journey towards achieving your immigration goals with confidence.

            Advice Package icon

            Advice Package

            Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.

            Application Package icon

            Application Package

            We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.

            Fast Track Package icon

            Fast Track Package

            Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.

            Appeal Package icon

            Appeal Package

            Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.

            Advice Package image

            The Advice Package

            With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.

              Fill out the form

              Request the Advice Package
              Application Package image

              The Application Package

              Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.

                Fill out the form

                Request the Application Package
                Fast Track Package image

                The Fast Track Package

                Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.

                  Fill out the form

                  Request the Fast Track Package
                  Appeal Package image

                  The Appeal Package

                  Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.

                    Fill out the form

                    Request the Appeal Package

                    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone. Learn more

                      Request a call back from our immigration experts

                      Related pages for your continued reading.

                      Frequently Asked Questions

                      In most cases, Irish citizenship by descent doesn’t require you to renounce your original citizenship. However, it’s essential to check your home country’s rules regarding dual citizenship.

                      No, there is no specific age limit for claiming Irish citizenship by descent. You can apply at any age, but certain routes may have additional requirements for minors.

                      Irish citizens enjoy rights and privileges, including the ability to live, work, and study in Ireland and other EU countries. They can also vote in Irish elections and obtain an Irish passport.

                      Yes, you may qualify for Irish citizenship through your Irish-born grandparents.

                      Yes, as an Irish citizen, you have the right to work and reside in any European Union (EU) member state, making it easier to explore employment opportunities within the EU.