IRELAND – Citizenship by Descent – Irish Born Grandparent

March 14, 2024

By Jane Pilkington

Do you have an Irish born grandparent? If so, you may be entitled to apply for Irish citizenship by having your birth registered on what is termed, the Foreign Birth Register. Once an applicant’s birth is registered on the Foreign Birth Register, they are an Irish citizen and can apply for an Irish passport.

You will generally only be entitled to apply for Foreign Birth Registration on the basis of having an Irish born grandparent, if your relevant parent applied for Foreign Birth Registration before you were born. If they did so, you are also eligible to apply and if each generation applies for their registration before the next generation is born, each successive generation can benefit from the process.

In support of an application, an applicant will require official documentation relating to three generations, to include themselves. Usefully, siblings can submit their applications together, and can rely on one set of original documentation for their parent and Irish born grandparent.

The current processing time for Foreign Birth Registration applications is approximately 9 months from the date of submission. However, an applicant who is an expectant parent or a stateless person can expect to have their application expedited, on request.

The benefits of Irish citizenship include being recognised as a national of Ireland, a citizen of the European Union and having the right to live and work in Ireland, the UK and the European Union. Arising from these benefits, demand for Foreign Birth Registration has increased significantly since Brexit.

In addition, the Irish passport is ranked joint third (with Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg and the UK) by the Henley Passport Index which ranks the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

Please contact our Irish MD, Jane Pilkington, for any questions or assistance: [email protected]

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.