Become an Irish citizen by naturalisation

Notice: Next citizenship ceremony will be held on 16 October 2017

The next day of citizenship ceremonies will be held on Monday 16 October 2017. The attendee list and location will be published here 2 weeks before the event.

Read more about what happens at a citizenship ceremony (10 July 2017)

You may be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship by naturalisation if you are living in the State or married to an Irish citizen, as well as other reasons explained below.

If your application is successful you will receive a Certificate of Naturalisation at a Citizenship Ceremony, after making a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State.

Important: There is no guarantee your application will be successful even if you meet all conditions required by law. Applications are decided by the Minister for Justice and Equality who has total discretion when granting citizenship.

1. Eligibility

Eligibility for adults

You can apply for Irish citizenship by naturalisation if you:

  • Are of full age (aged 18 or over, or if aged under 18 you are married) when you apply
  • Meet the conditions for residence, marriage or other (as described below)
  • Intend to continue living in the State
  • Are of good character
  • Will attend a citizenship ceremony and make the declaration of fidelity

Use Form 8 to make your application.

In some circumstances the Minister for Justice and Equality may approve an application for citizenship, even if all the above conditions are not met, for someone who:

  • Is of Irish descent or has Irish associations, or
  • Has been resident abroad in the Irish public service, or
  • Has been declared to be a refugee or stateless as defined by law

'Irish association' means being related by blood, affinity or adoption to an Irish citizen, including deceased citizens.

Eligibility for minors (children)

A minor (child) is someone aged under 18 who is not married at the time of application. A child cannot apply by themselves. The application must be made by their parent, legal guardian or a person acting on the child's behalf 'in loco parentis'.

The different types of application that can be submitted are:

  • If one of the minor's parents has already been naturalised (use Form 9)
  • If the minor is of Irish descent or has Irish associations (use Form 10)
  • If the minor was born in the State after 1 January 2005, and was not entitled to Irish citizenship at the time of birth, but has since accumulated 5 years' reckonable residence (use Form 11)

Eligibility for dependant young adults who are non-EU/EEA & non-Swiss citizens

A 'dependant young adult' is someone who depends on their parents for accommodation and general living expenses, ie they do not live independently.

You may apply for citizenship as a dependant young adult if you meet the eligibility requirements for an adult application (as above) and you:

  • Are aged 18-23 when you apply
  • Entered the State legally as part of a family unit
  • Are currently attending secondary school in the State, or you went directly from secondary school into third level education in the State
  • Are continuously dependent on your parents, ie you are not financially independent

Use Form 8 to make your application. If you apply, you should use your parents' calculation of 'reckonable residence' in your application (as below).

Dual citizenship

Under Irish law, you are not required to give up citizenship of another country to become an Irish citizen.

However, some countries do not allow dual citizenship, or place restrictions on it. You should check with the embassies of all countries where you already hold citizenship before applying in Ireland.

2. Application based on residence for non-EU/EEA & non-Swiss nationals

To apply for citizenship by naturalisation based on residence, you must prove that you:

  1. Have been - and are now - legally resident in the State, and
  2. Have built up enough 'reckonable residence' in the State

A: Legal residence

You must prove that you have been legally resident in the State for at least 5 years out of the last 9 years. This includes 1 year of continuous residence immediately before the date you apply.

You can do this by showing your immigration permission stamps.

B: Reckonable residence

You must show that you built up enough reckonable residence in the State to be granted citizenship, specifically:

  • 1,825 or 1,826 days of reckonable residence based on your accumulated permission stamps
  • This includes 365 or 366 days (1 year) of continuous residence immediately before the date you apply

Some types of permission stamp cannot be included when adding up your reckonable residence.

How to calculate reckonable residence

Count backwards from the date that you intend to apply for citizenship.

You must show that you have lived in the State legally for at least 1,825 or 1,826 days over the last 9 years. This includes:

  • 365 days immediately before the date that you apply (or 366 days if it includes 29 February)
  • Plus 1,460 days in the 8 years before the period above (plus 1 day for years that include 29 February)

Use the Naturalisation Residency Calculator to calculate your total time in the State

You must include a print-out of the calculator results (showing your personal reckonable residence) when sending in your application form.

Reckonable residence & registration

Make sure you keep your immigration registration up-to-date (with no gaps) during your residence. If not, your application for citizenship could be refused.

Time gaps between stamps or permissions, could mean you were in the State illegally.

Children aged 16 or over must also register and keep their registration up-to-date.

Note: If you had permission to live in the State but you spent long periods of time abroad, you must explain why or your application may be refused.

3. Application based on residence for UK, EU/EEA & Swiss nationals

To apply for citizenship by naturalisation based on residence, you must prove that you have been resident in the State for at least 5 years (1,825 or 1,826 days) out of the last 9 years

This includes 1 year (365 or 366 days) of continuous residence immediately before the date you apply.

Do not use the residence calculator to prove your residence in Ireland. You cannot use the calculator because (as a UK, EU/EEA or Swiss national) your passport is not stamped with immigration permission stamps.

Instead, you must send us 3 different documents for each year you claim you were resident here. The type of documents you can and cannot use are listed below.

+ Documents to use as proof of residence

Document requirements

Submit 3 different documents with your application for each year you claim you were resident in the State.

Submit photocopies, not original documents.

Each document must show your name and address.

In some circumstances, we may ask you for extra documents or information to prove your residence over certain periods of time.

Documents you can use

You can use household bills for:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Fixed line telephone
  • Fixed line internet
  • Fixed line TV

You may also use:

  • Documents from the Revenue Commissioners (tax authorities), eg P60, P21
  • Bank statements showing daily transactions, eg debit-card transactions in a supermarket
  • Documents from Department of Social Protection, eg confirming receipt of payments
  • Employment letters or payslips
  • Mortgage agreement
  • Tenancy/rental agreement
  • Letter from the Private Residential Tenancies Board
  • Doctor's letter showing date of registration and dates of attendance
  • For a dependent young adult (aged 18-23): A letter from your school or college showing your date of registration and attendance

Documents you cannot use

  • Documents that do not show your name and address
  • Bank statements that do not show daily transactions, eg that only show direct debits or online shopping
  • Letters that are not on headed paper
  • Handwritten letters from landlords
  • Letters from friends
  • Letter from a bank stating you have an account
  • Letter from a club or library (unless dates of attendance are included)

Retention of documents

We will not return any documents that you submit with your application to you. We keep them to preserve the integrity of your file.

If you submit an original document, make a copy of it for your own records first.

 

Note: To apply as a UK, EU/EEA & Swiss national, you must have been a UK, EU/EEA or Swiss national for more than 5 years. If not, you must apply as a non-EU/EEA & non-Swiss national.

4. Application based on marriage or civil partnership

You can apply for citizenship by naturalisation if you are married to, or in a civil partnership with, an Irish citizen. To apply, you must meet the eligibility and other requirements listed below.

Eligibility

You must:

  • Have been married to, or in a civil partnership with, an Irish citizen for 3 years
  • Have been (and are now) living together in an ongoing marriage/civil partnership of not less than 3 years
  • Be of full age (18 or over) when you apply

Recognition of civil partnerships registered abroad

You should check that your civil partnership can be recognised by the Irish State before you apply for citizenship.

Civil Partnership Orders determine which foreign civil partnerships are recognised. These orders are issued periodically.

Residence

You must:

  • Have resided on the island of Ireland for at least 3 years out of the last 5 years, including 1 year of continuous residence immediately before the date you apply
  • Be now legally resident on the island of Ireland

Documents

Read the full list of required documents on the application form (Form 8)

You must also submit certified translations of these documents if they are not in the English language.

Find out how to make a certified copy/translation of a document

5. Forms & how to apply

To make an application, download and complete the appropriate form.

Download application forms for citizenship by naturalisation

Each form contains a guide and checklist to help you.

+ Find the application form you need & download

Form 8: Application for an adult (including a dependent young adult)

Use Form 8 if you are applying:

Form 9: Application for a minor (child)

You may use Form 9 to apply on behalf of a child if you:

  • Are the child's parent
  • Have already been naturalised and received your Certificate of Naturalisation
  • Are of full age (aged 18 or over)
  • Intend to continue living in the State
  • Read more about Form 9 & download

Form 10: Application for a minor (child) of Irish descent or with Irish associations

You may use Form 10 to apply on behalf of a child if you:

Form 11: Application for a minor (child) born in the State who was not entitled to citizenship at birth

You may use Form 11 to apply on behalf of a child if you:

  • Are the child's parent, legal guardian or a person acting 'in loco parentis'
  • Are of full age (aged 18 or over)
  • Intend to continue living in the State
  • Are of good character
  • Read more about Form 11 & download

IMPORTANT: Make sure you use the latest version of each form when applying. If you complete an old form, it will be returned to you and you will have to start again.

Witness & signature

Do not sign the form until it is complete and you are with someone who can act as a witness. Instructions about who can be a witness are on the form.

After the form has been signed and properly witnessed, return it to us together with any supporting documents or other information.

Make sure you read all guidance carefully. If you submit an application that is incorrect or not fully completed, everything will be returned to you and you may have to start again.

6. Fees

Application fee

A fee of €175 applies for each application. There are no exceptions and fees cannot be waived.

We can only accept a bank draft as payment. The bank draft must be:

  • Drawn on an Irish bank
  • Made payable to Secretary General, Department of Justice and Equality

We cannot accept personal cheques, postal orders or cash. Fees cannot be refunded , even if your application is refused.

Certification fee

If your application is successful, you must pay a certification fee to receive your Certificate of Naturalisation:

  • € 950 = Adult
  • € 200 = Child
  • € 200 = Widow/widower of an Irish citizen
  • € 0 = Recognised refugee or stateless person

We can only accept bank drafts drawn on an Irish bank as payment.
Make the draft payable to Secretary General, Department of Justice and Equality.

Fees must be paid by all applicants (except as shown). There are no exceptions and fees cannot be waived or refunded.

Note: If you are outside the State for longer than 6 weeks after you submit your application, you must notify INIS by letter or email to explain why.

7. After you apply

In general, it takes 6 months for a straightforward application to be processed from the date it is received to the date a decision is made. (Processing times can vary depending on circumstances.)

Your passport will be returned to you when initial processing is complete, about 6 weeks after you submit your application.

If you think you will need your passport during the 6 weeks after you apply (eg for travel), postpone your application until you return and then apply.

You can withdraw your application at any time, but you will not get a fee refund.

Note: If you ask for your passport back before initial processing is complete (ie within 6 weeks after you apply), we will put your application put on hold and send your passport to you. When ready, you must return your passport to us for initial processing to continue.

Processing

When we receive your application, we will check that you have:

  • Used the correct (most recent) version of the application form
  • Paid the application fee
  • Completed the statutory declarations on each form
  • Submitted all documents as listed in the form's Guidance Note

If any documents are missing, you may be given up to 28 days to provide them. If you fail to do so, your application may be deemed ineligible or refused.

  • We will also contact An Garda Síochána and the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB)
  • We may contact other government departments or external agencies for information or reports about you, if necessary
  • We may send your passport for official authentication

We may also contact you to ask for more information or documents.

Submission

When processing is complete, we will prepare a submission on your application for decision by the Minister for Justice and Equality.

There is no guarantee your application will be successful even if you meet all conditions required by law. The Minister has absolute discretion for granting citizenship.

8. Decision & next steps

If your application is successful

We will send you a letter with the Minister's decision.

To become a citizen, you must then attend a Citizenship Ceremony and make a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State. You will be given your Certificate of Naturalisation at the ceremony.

To complete your application for citizenship and prepare for the ceremony, you must:

  • Send some final documentation to us (as listed in your approval letter), eg your GNIB card, passport-sized photos for your Certificate of Naturalisation
  • Pay the certification fee (as above)

Citizenship ceremony

A day of Citizenship Ceremonies is held periodically through the year. You will receive an invitation to your Citizenship Ceremony about 4 to 5 weeks before it is scheduled to occur.

Successful applicants who are children (minors) do not attend a Citizenship Ceremony. They will receive their Certificate of Naturalisation by post.

Public notice

A notice will be published in the official journal Iris Óifigiúil stating that you have been granted a Certificate of Naturalisation. This notice will include your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of your Certificate of Naturalisation
  • Whether you are an adult (aged 18 and over) or a minor

These notices are required to be published by law and are mandatory. There are no exemptions.

Passport

After you become an Irish citizen, you can apply for a passport via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

If your application is refused

We will advise you of the Minister's decision and the reasons your application was refused.

There is no appeal process and you will not get a refund of any fees.

You can re-apply for citizenship by naturalisation at any time. When doing so, you should pay careful attention to the reasons your previous application was refused.

Loss of citizenship

Citizenship by naturalisation can be revoked in some circumstances, eg if you concealed facts or made misrepresentations in your application.

You can also voluntarily renounce your citizenship.

Note: The information on this page is for guidance only. Read the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts for a complete description of citizenship by naturalisation.

 

Contact

If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 10 July 2017

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Page history

10 July 2017

Text added about retention of documents "We will not return any documents that you submit with your application to you. We keep them to preserve the integrity of your file. If you submit an original document, make a copy of it for your own records first."

7 April 2017

Text added for return of passports: "Your passport will be returned to you when initial processing is complete, about 4-6 weeks after you submit your application."

20 December 2016

Page published.