Do you have Irish ancestry?

Key Contacts: Cian Moriarty – Senior Associate

Following Brexit, while citizens of the United Kingdom can still reside and work in Ireland due to the Common Travel Area agreement, they are no longer entitled to travel and work freely within the EU/EEA.

In these circumstances, our immigration team have seen an uptick in the number of UK citizens, and foreign nationals generally, applying for Irish passports and, where eligible, Irish citizenship through Foreign Birth Registration.

If you were born outside of the island of Ireland and you are of Irish descent, you should consider the following:

If your parent was born on the island of Ireland, you are an Irish citizen and can immediately apply for an Irish passport;

If either:

  1. you have an Irish citizen parent (who was not born on the island of Ireland); or
  2. you have/had a grandparent who was born on the island of Ireland;

then you may be able to apply for Irish citizenship through Foreign Birth Registration.

If you have an adoptive Irish parent/grandparent as per (1) or (2) above, you may also be able to apply for Irish citizenship through Foreign Birth Registration.

If you are eligible to apply for Foreign Birth Registration, you should note that your children will also be able to claim Irish citizenship (through FBR) but only if you are an Irish citizen when they are born. This is a very good reason for you to apply for Foreign Birth Registration as soon as possible.

Also, the current processing time for Foreign Birth Registration applications is approximately nine months, which is much quicker than the processing time has been in recent years. We are advising eligible clients to make their applications now, before the processing time increases again.

Making an application for FBR or an Irish passport can be complicated. We would recommend obtaining expert immigration advice before submitting your application. Our immigration team has significant experience in this area and would be happy to assist you.

If you would like to find out if you are eligible and/or would like help with your application, please contact us at immigration@philiplee.ie.

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