Am I eligible to apply for Irish citizenship?
If you are not an Irish citizen, but one (or both) of your parents
held Irish citizenship at the time of your birth (other than
through birth in Ireland), you may apply to be entered into the
Foreign Births Entry Book at the Embassy. We refer to this as
Foreign Births Registration (FBR). Upon entry into the book, you
become an Irish citizen.
What if one (or both) of my parents was born in
Then you acquired Irish citizenship automatically at birth.
Can I apply through an Irish born grandparent?
The Foreign Birth Registration process is sometimes colloquially
referred to as “the grandparent rule” because, if one or more
of your grandparents was born in Ireland, their child (your parent)
acquired Irish citizenship automatically at birth. Therefore,
unless your parent renounced their Irish citizenship before your
birth, one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the
time of your birth and and you meet the criteria to apply.
Is anyone else eligible to apply for FBR?
Eligibility is not limited to grandchildren of people born in
Ireland. The criterion is that at the time of your birth one or
both of your parents held Irish citizenship other then through
birth in Ireland. The FBR process is therefore also available to
the foreign-born children of naturalised Irish citizens, and to
children born to Irish citizens who themselves acquired citizenship
What if my parent became an Irish citizen after I was
It is not possible to apply on the basis that your parent acquired
Irish citizenship after your birth, except in the very limited
cirumstance that your parent became a citizen through FBR prior to
1986 and you were born after 1956. This arises from previous
legislation. Current legislation only provides for persons who, at
the time of their birth, had a parent who held Irish
citizenship other than by birth in Ireland.
How can I apply for Irish citizenship by Foreign Birth
To apply for Foreign Birth Registration please follow the
I read that Irish citizenship rules are changing- am I now
eligible to apply?
Irish citizenship rules have not changed. There has been recent
media speculation about possible changes, but no such changes have
yet taken place.
Furthermore, the source of the media speculation seems to be a
speech made in the USA in March 2009 in which the Taoiseach (Prime
Minister) of Ireland stated “..we will arrange [../..] a
fast-track naturalisation regime for those who have studied in
Ireland and who have Irish great grandparents”. Naturalisation
is a separate process from Foreign Birth Registration (explained
above). Applicants for Irish citizenship by naturalisation must
meet a residency requirement. We do not anticipate therefore
that there will be any change to eligibility for Australians
resident outside Ireland.
How long does it take to process an application for Irish
It currently takes approximately five months to process FBR
applications at this mission, if all necessary documentation is
provided. If we have to seek additional documents, the processing
time is longer.
We receive many requests from people asking that we accelerate the
processing of their application for one reason or another. We
ask all applicants to understand that this is not possible as it
causes unfair delay to other applicants.
No travel arrangements should be made on the assumption of having
an Irish passport by a certain future date. Once you have
been notified that your application is successful, you may apply
for an Irish passport. Current processing time for passport
applications at this mission is approximately five weeks.
You said that the supporting documents have to be originals but
I don’t have the originals of some old certificates- what should I
When we say original documentation we mean that the document should
be from the competent issuing authority – (ie not a photocopy, even
if certified). You can obtain a new original from the competent
authority. For Irish certificates this is the General Register
Office http://www.groireland.ie/ .
Certificates from Northern Ireland can be obtained via www.groni.gov.uk.