Complete Guide For Irish Dual Citizenship By Descent

My family talked about applying for our Irish dual citizenship for years but the process always seemed too overwhelming.

From acquiring all of the necessary documents and determining who could witness those documents, the application process kept getting put off.

With all of the global political changes, I decided it was finally time to take advantage of the benefits of having Irish American dual citizenship and an Irish passport.

I wasn’t born in Ireland but I became an Irish citizen by descent in 2018. If you have Irish parents or grandparents, you can become an Irish citizen too!

In this guide, I’m going to teach you exactly how to get Irish dual citizenship by descent or Irish associations.

How To Get Irish Dual Citizenship By Descent

Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1956

Ireland is more lenient than other countries when it comes to claiming dual citizenship, and this is all thanks to the Irish government.

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1956 is an Irish law which established that anyone born in Ireland was automatically a citizen and foreign-born descendants can acquire Ireland citizenship through Irish ancestry, including an Irish parent and grandparent.

Irish Citizenship Through Irish-Born Parent

If one of your parents was born on the island of Ireland and was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, then you are automatically an Irish citizen. You don’t need to apply to become an Irish citizen and can apply for your Irish passport now.

Are you eligible for Irish Dual Citizenship?

If you were born outside of Ireland, you can apply to become an Irish citizen if:

  1. One of your grandparents was born on the island of Ireland (includes Northern Ireland)
  2. One of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, even though they were not born in Ireland.

If one of the above applies to you then you can become an Irish citizen through what is called Foreign Birth Registration.

Once you are entered into the Irish Register of Foreign Births, you are considered an Irish citizen and you’ll receive a certificate. You will need this certificate to apply for an Irish passport.

So, in my case, both of my grandparents on my Father’s side were born in Ireland, so I was able to apply for my Foreign Birth Registration through Irish descent.

Can An American Get Dual Citizenship In Ireland?

Yes, both Ireland and the United States permit dual citizenship, so you can still be an American.

If you are a citizenship in another country, you will want to make sure that your country allows dual citizenship. Some countries do not allow dual citizenship, and in that case you would have to choose which citizenship to give up

Temple Bar Dublin Ireland
The Temple Bar, Dublin
Guiness Storehouse Dublin Ireland
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

How To Apply For Irish Dual Citizenship

If you have a grandparent that was born in Ireland, then you will need to prove your lineage through a lot of documentation. All of these documents will be used for your Foreign Birth Registration.

I’ve detailed the steps below for an adult application, but you can also find more information from the Irish Embassy here.

Step 1: Collect Your Documents

Your original documents:

  • Your ORIGINAL birth certificate
  • Your ORIGINAL marriage certificate (if applicable) OR other change of name document (if applicable)
  • (3) ORIGINAL documents showing proof of address (bank statements or utility bills)
  • COPY of your passport/ID (must be witnessed)
  • (4) Passport photos (2 must be witnessed)

Your parent’s original documents (the one related to your Irish grandparent):

  • ORIGINAL birth certificate of your parent
  • ORIGINAL marriage certificate of your parent (if applicable) OR other change of name document (if applicable)
  • COPY of passport/ID of your parent, if living (must be witnessed)
  • ORIGINAL death certificate (if applicable)

Your grandparent’s original documents (if both of your grandparents were born in Ireland, you will need to collect both of their documents)

  • ORIGINAL birth certificate of your grandparent(s)
  • ORIGINAL marriage certificate of your grandparent(s) (if applicable)
  • ORIGINAL divorce certificate of your grandparent(s) (if applicable)
  • COPY of passport/ID of your grandparent, if living (must be witnessed)
  • ORIGINAL death certificate (if applicable)

Getting Irish citizenship through descent is a complex process and collecting all of these original documents was the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process.

We had difficulty determining if we needed certain documents for my grandparents since they are both deceased.

We ended up having to order official documents from Ireland and since we needed them mailed to Alaska, we would wait four weeks at a time to receive the documents.

Double-check that your documents are the originals (long-form) and don’t have missing information, especially on the birth certificates (such as middle names, if applicable).

Also, make sure to have ALL of the documents above. If your grandparents are already deceased, you will still need their marriage certificates and divorce certificates (if applicable). It’s better to have them and send them all at the same time.

If you’re not sure where to get your passport photos, I usually go to Costco to get mine. If you plan on getting your Irish passport immediately after receiving your Foreign Birth Registration, then you should get at least six passport photos. You will need four for your passport application.

Step 2: Fill Out Your Application

After you collect all of the above documents, you will need to fill out your online application through the Irish Embassy.

There are a six tabs in the online application that you will need to fill out completely. Here is an overview of what to expect:

  • General – Select your country of residence, age, and citizenship category.
  • Applicant – Details of the person whose birth is to be registered
  • Parent – Details of the parent through whom Irish citizenship is said to be derived
  • Grandparent – Details of the grandparent born in Ireland
  • Contact – Details of the person requesting registration (address, phone number, email address)
  • Submit Application – Print and check your FBR applications form and checklist and submit your application

It’s important that you wait to have all of your documents before you fill out the online application because you will need the information of your parent and Irish-born grandparent that can be found on the documents.

You will submit the application online to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You must also print the application, sign it, and mail it with all of your other documents.

Make sure to save the PDF version of your application in case you need to reference it later on.

DFA Foreign Birth Registry Irish Citizenship By Descent

Step 3: Make Your Online Payment

When you are filling out your online application, you will also be asked to make an online payment to obtain your Irish citizenship.

If you are over 18 years old, you will need to pay a fee of €278, this includes payment for the registration, certificate, and a non-refundable postage and handling fee.

If you are under 18 years old, you will need to pay €153, this includes payment for the registration, certificate, and a non-refundable postage and handling fee.

Step 4: Witness Your Documents

In order to complete your application process, you will need to find someone to witness your documents. They will need to witness part of your application, (2) of your passport photos, and witness you sign the application. They can either stamp and sign the documents, or provide a business card if they don’t have a stamp.

Who Can Witness The Application Form and Photographs?

Here are some examples of who can witness your documents:

  • Member of the Clergy
  • Medical Doctor
  • School Principal
  • Bank Manager
  • Solicitor/Lawyer
  • Notary Public
  • Police Officer

In my case, we didn’t personally know anyone that could witness our documents and all of the local banks said that they couldn’t witness personal identification documents.

So, we ended up using the notary services at The UPS Store in Alaska. It should cost you less than $10 USD to notarize all of your documents. The notary should stamp, sign and date your documents. You can find a UPS Store near you here.

Sometimes you may need to explain that the notary is not confirming your identity, they are just confirming that you are the person in front of them that matches the ID presented. It’s confusing, but this is how the consulate explained it to us.

Step 4: Mail Your Documents To Ireland

After you collect all of your documents, witness necessary documents, fill out your application and make the online payment, you can mail in all of your documents.

You will send your documents addressed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
***CHECK YOUR APPLICATION FOR THE MOST UP TO DATE ADDRESS***
Dublin, Ireland

If you don’t want to experience the anxiety I did when I sent all of these precious documents untracked through the USPS and not through certified mail, then I highly suggest you pay to have these documents sent with a tracking number. You can mail them with FedEx. It’s worth it!

Can You Apply At The Same Time As Your Siblings?

If you are applying at the same time as your siblings and you need the same set of original documents, it’s okay to send them all together in the same envelope. Make sure to separate each of your applications and include a letter saying that some of the documents apply to both applications. 

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Irish Citizenship?

When I was in the middle of applying, there was high demand and it took 10 months to process a registration.

But I applied for my Foreign Birth Registration, it took 6 months to receive my certificate in the mail. It took longer because we had to send different documents that we had to wait to receive from Ireland.

As of November 2023, The DFA has noted applications for Foreign Birth Registration are processed in strict date order and it’s currently taking approximately 9 months to process a completed Foreign Birth Registration for eligible applicants.

You can check for processing time updates on Facebook from Irish Foreign Ministry.

Step 5: Apply For Your Irish Passport

Once your Irish citizenship application is approved, you’ll receive an official Irish Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) in the mail, which is in the form of a certificate.

What does being an Irish citizen mean?

Congrats! You’re now an Irish citizen and you can apply for your Irish passport! As a citizen of Ireland, you are also recognized as a a citizen of the European Union, which is amazing.

You may also request consular assistance from Irish embassies and consulates abroad, or from those of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish representation.

Applying For Your Irish Passport

In order to apply for an Irish passport, you will need to get your FBR certificate first. If you live in the United States, you will need to contact your local Irish Embassy or Consulate to get an application form or have it mailed to you because you can’t download the form online.

You will have to fill out the passport application, collect similar documents, pay the fee, and mail everything to the nearest Irish consulate.

Irish passport applications currently take about 20 working days to process a first time online application.

Can You Hold An Irish and American Passport?

Yes, you can hold an Irish passport and an American passport. As an American, you are required to use your American passport when you leave or enter the United States.

Having an Irish passport is my favorite thing about having dual citizenship!

Irish American Dual Citizenship Passports

American Irish Dual Citizenship Benefits

Besides just being totally awesome and feeling like the coolest person ever, there are a ton of benefits to having your Irish dual citizenship. A lot of it comes with have the option to use two passports.

Entering The EU and UK On An Irish Passport

Whenever I enter any countries that are a member of the European Union (EU) or the United Kingdom, I get to enter on an Irish passport. This means that I get to skip all of the long foreigner lines to get through customs.

I can also use the automated ePassport gates instead of having my passport checked by border control, just like any British citizen or European citizen.

All I have to do is scan my Irish passport at the passport gate and an automated passport reader and camera verifies my identity and checks my passport.

The gates uses facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph recorded from your passport. Once the check is made successfully, the gate opens automatically for you to walk through.

It’s amazing and I don’t think it ever takes me more than ten minutes!

Work and Live In The EU Or UK

Last summer, I lived and worked in Southern Portugal. I didn’t have to worry about going over the 90-day maximum stay for non-EU citizens.

Since the Republic of Ireland is a member of the European Union, anybody with citizenship in one country can live and work in other EU countries, without restrictions.

Also, since the relationship between Ireland and the UK is so good, the Brexit vote doesn’t affect Irish citizens. I can live and work anywhere in the UK, just like a UK citizen.

I’m currently living in Cardiff, Wales using my Irish passport.

Free Healthcare and Education

As someone who was born and raised in the United States, I couldn’t fathom the idea that healthcare and education could be free. But now, I’m experiencing it firsthand.

There are a lot of perks to being part of the European Union. In Wales, I applied to receive free healthcare through the NHS. The process was really easy and I can even get prescriptions at no cost.

I’ve also looked into schools in countries around Europe. Having an EU passport means that I can pay the same amount as the local costs. Sometimes this means that it’s free! You can save thousands of dollars this way.

Traveling The World

I love traveling and I travel a lot. The main reason I had an interest in getting Irish citizenship was so that I could have an Irish passport. I knew that having the option to travel on two different passports would be advantageous.

Ireland’s passport is one of the most powerful in the world with visa-free access to 175 countries. This means that countries that would require applying and paying for a visa as an American, could be free to access as an Irish citizen.

In 2016, I paid $160 USD for a tourist visa for Bolivia. If I had my Irish passport at that time, it would have been free!

Other Benefits

One of the best reasons to get your Irish dual citizenship by descent is your children can become Irish citizens. If your children are born after your entry in the Foreign Births Register then they are eligible to apply for their foreign birth registration.

If you are looking into an Australian Working Holiday Visa, Canadian, Irish and French passport holders can apply up to age 35. For any other country, it is up to age 30.

You can also participate in Irish elections if you wanted to!

Basically, if you are eligible for Irish citizenship, I highly recommend you take advantage of it.


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About Andrea Kuuipo

I was born and raised in Anchorage and have been able to travel to many places around Alaska. As an Alaska Travel Blogger, I love sharing my favorite things to see and do in my home state to help others plan an incredible trip!

145 thoughts on “Complete Guide For Irish Dual Citizenship By Descent”

  1. Thanks for all the info – glad to read about someone who completed the process. Trying to get all the documents ready right now.

    Reply
  2. Enjoyed your article. Here’s my question: My father’s grandparents were born in Ireland. He is thinking about applying for his dual citizenship. If he were to do so and get it, can I apply?

    Reply
    • Hey Joseph, thanks for reading! So, unfortunately, your father would’ve had to have his dual citizenship before having kids (you), in order for you to be eligible.

      This is the current situation but I would say that if your father is interested in getting dual, why not? If anything, something could change in the future, and maybe you would become eligible.

      I would also double-check with the Irish consulate so that you don’t completely rule it out.

      Reply
  3. Hi, im currently struggling to get three proof of address for myself. I’m only 20 years old, living at home, with no bills or anything. I can use a bank statement for my debit card as one but unsure on the others. any advice? thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Sam, do you have a checking account and a savings account connected? These statements would work as two different proofs of address. Other ideas would be voter registration, tax documents, anything related to school, work pay stub, or car registration/ insurance. Does that help?
      – Andrea

      Reply
  4. Thank so much for this information. I have all the documents I need to register once it opens up again (Covid :-() but I am struggling with the witness since the list states the witness must be practicing his or her profession and I know a few people who are retired but none practicing. My sister is a lawyer and she was a witness for a friend’s application and the Register called her to confirm and asked a few questions. I see you used a notary but am concerned that since I don’t know one personally it will be an issue. Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much. Cindy

    Reply
    • Hi Cindy, The only suggestion I would have is to go to The UPS Store if there’s one near you. If not see if you can find a nearby shipping store, photocopy shop, or library that offers notary services. At this point, you don’t have to know them personally. If they are unsure about signing off on your ID, just reinstate that they’re not confirming your identity but confirming that the person in front of them (you) matched the documents you gave them.

      Hope this helps! – Andrea

      Reply
    • Thanks for that write up! You made it sound simpler than the FBR website! Next step I will request passport application from embassy. 2 years for approval. Originally did not include marriage certificate of my grandparents and then of course Covid slowed the process down

      Reply
  5. I just started this process – both of my grandparents were born in Ireland. I am curious about a couple of things:

    • Two separate proofs of address (like a utility bill or bank statement) – does a witness have to sign these?
    • When you have a notary sign/stamp documents, what exactly are they signing, just their signature or a statement as well? Also, do they stamp/sign the back of two of the four passport photos that must be sent?
    • On birth/marriage/death certificates, they say “original” but technically the only ones I can get are true certified copies, they are embossed/sealed by the state – are these acceptable? The actual originals are filed with and the property of the state I live in, they are never released to individuals.

    Thanks for this article, it helps greatly!
    Mary

    Reply
    • Hi Mary, Congrats on getting started on the process!

      1) A witness does NOT need to sign your proofs of address.
      2) Usually a notary has a stamp which they use in addition to signing their name and date. They will need to do this for the application and the back of two of your passport photos. If they don’t have a stamp, make sure to attach a business card.
      3) Yes, those should work. Make sure you have your long-form birth certificate (includes full names, dob).

      Hope this helps! – Andrea

      Reply
      • Andrea, another quick question — I just realized, having had other things notarized, that the notary’s stamp is too large to fit on the back of the passport photos, and they don’t have a business card that designates them as a notary. The notary is at a UPS store and the only business card she has is for the UPS store and her name is not on it. So here’s a question, if the notary stamps and signs the other items (application, proof of ID), do you think it would be sufficient if the same notary just signed the back of the photos?

        Reply
        • I think that would be fine. I would just have the person sign and date the back of the photos and then include a generic business card and have them write their name, sign, and date that as well or stamp it if it fits.

          Reply
  6. Hi, My decease Mom was born in Ireland and my siblings and my srlf would like to apply for Duel citizenship. What is the po process?

    Reply
    • Hi Pat, If your mom was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, then you are automatically an Irish citizen. You don’t need to apply to become an Irish citizen and can apply for your Irish passport now. If not, you will need to collect your documents to try and gain Irish citizen through one of your grandparents. – Andrea

      Reply
  7. Thanks for reminding me to do this.Been talking about doing it for some time but never took the steps. I’m 76, as is my wife, we both want Irish dual citizenship. My parents were both born in Ireland and my wife’s grandparent was born there. We were both born in the US. How do we get this done. Thanks. Don

    Reply
  8. My FBR application packet was received in Dublin March 2020. I haven’t heard back yet.When I did the online application I did not see a link to pay the application fee otherwsie I would have done so at the time. Is there a link you could provide to comply with that requirement or do I neewd to contact Dublin via email or phone to hopefully have them send me a link to pay it. Thanks.

    Thomas F

    Reply
  9. Hello i was born in Switzerland and my father was Irish i was to young to be Swiss and we did no live there long enough to claim citizenship. I became Irish and have been ever since. I have a us green card and Irish passport. Can my children claim dual citizenship and what do they need ?

    Reply
  10. Hi Andrea, Thanks for writing such detailed information on how to become an Irish dual citizen! My brother and I started gathering documents 3 years ago! It’s been very challenging, to say the least! When I began the search, I don’t recall needing notarized copies of passports/ID’s of my deceased parent and grandparent. Where would I obtain those documents? I do have a photocopy of my Irish grandfather, but it was obtained by someone else, and I’m not sure if that’s what is needed. Do they have to be certified, with a seal? What exactly is being notarized, if the person is dead? It seems like a never ending process. We’ve had the most trouble with obtaining documents from Cook County, IL. What a nightmare! I thought I had everything until I found out today about the notarized passports! Thanks for any help you can give!

    Reply
    • You will only need a notorized copy of ID if that parent or grandparent is living. Looks like I need to make a small edit to reflect that. If deceased, you will need death certificates.

      Reply
  11. Can you explain what they mean by “if applicable”.

    ORIGINAL marriage certificate of your parent (if applicable) OR other change of name document (if applicable)

    The way I understand it is that it has to do with name change since they say “OR other change of name document” so if my Irish parent is my father than I would Not need to include his marriage certificate because he did not change his last name when he got married

    Reply
    • Hi Karen, If your father was married or divorced, you will need to send those documents in. I also obtained my FBR through my father and we had to send additional documents in, including my parent’s marriage certificate. – Andrea

      Reply
      • Thank you so very much for responding back and for writing this informative post.

        Thank you for letting me know about the divorce papers as well. The FBR doesn’t indicate that on the above list but I do know that they ask that information on the application so I guess that is when they say you need to include it.

        Did you use your drivers license for your ID and double duty for one of the proofs of address?

        I was wondering if one could do that since U.S. driver licenses and State ID cards have one’s address on it.

        I wanted to let you know that the Irish government is now only asking for 2 proofs of name/address instead of the 3 that you have in your post.

        My father is getting his Irish Passport and the Irish passport agency is asking people to send their application and documents registered mail.

        The nice thing about registered mail is that it does not travel with the regular mail, it only travels with other registered mail and at the end of the day of each day of the journey it is transferred to a local post office and is locked in their safe until the journey continues the next day and there is a chain of custody in which each post office signs for it.

        Reply
        • It’s kind of one of those things where if you have it just send it because the process can take so long. If you’re missing documents, it’ll take longer. I wouldn’t use a DL as proof of address because you don’t really want to send that in the mail. Instead, you can just use bank statements, other bills, etc.

          Thanks for the updated information! I will make changes to my post. – Andrea

          Reply
          • I would not send in the DL, just the required photocopy and use it as double duty for proof of address and just send in one other proof of address.

            I was just wanting to know if you think that the FBR would be okay with that?

  12. Thank you for all the information!! What if you have to go back to your great grandparents who were born in Ireland, is this too far back?

    Reply
  13. Just a heads up the address you posted is out of date, it’s a PO Box now. I’d type it out for you but I’d suggest you just put “mail it to the address provided on the application” in case they change the address again in the future.
    I just sent all my stuff in a couple weeks ago, wish me luck!

    Reply
    • Oh one other piece of info too. The website says they are not currently accepting new applications because of covid, but I called up the consulate and talked to someone who said they’d actually started processing applications again so I should go ahead and send my stuff in. Apparently no one has bothered to update their website yet. I imagine no one on their team is champing at the bit to encourage more applicants since they have a big back log to get through.

      Reply
  14. My mother was born and raised in Ireland but is deceased, how do I get a copy of her birth certificate and also do I need my grandparents birth certificate and marriage certificate too?

    Reply
  15. Hi,
    I am an American citizen, descendant of Irish born grandparents with the goal of becoming an Irish citizen. I have collected some documents through vital records offices but there seem to be a lot of errors. Is there a service that can help me? I am willing to pay for the service but I don’t know how to find a reputable service or even what to call it.

    Please advise. Thank you.
    C. McCormack  

    Reply
  16. Hi! My dad’s grandfather was born in Ireland, but his birth certificate was housed in a church in Ireland which burned down. We can’t obtain an original or copy of his birth certificate. Is there a work-around for that?
    My second–and important–question is this: my dad has since died. Although we worked on this process of obtaining all the documents prior to his death, we never got everything together. Now my siblings and I wonder if we can complete the process, posthumously, and have my dad obtain dual citizenship and thus us kids become dual citizens as well. Is this possible?
    Thanks so much!

    Reply
  17. Thanks so much for this helpful article! I’m struggling with the application. I’m the applicant. My grandfather was born in Ireland. His daughter, my mother, was born in the US. When I’m filling out the application, I select Foreign Born Registration. It then takes me to the Parent page but says it’s mandatory for me to fill out my mom’s FBR number and date. She is deceased and to my knowledge didn’t fill it out but was a citizen since her father was born there. The application won’t let me go to the Grandparent page.

    Does the fact that my mom died before registering as Foreign Born mean that I am ineligible to apply even though my grandfather was born there?

    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Mary,

      I am a viewer of this blog and saw your question and I also have a grandparent born in Ireland and parent born in the U.S.

      I took a look at the online application and on the “General” page of the application you need to select “Born abroad to a parent born in Ireland”. There is a note on the page to “Please indicate the citizenship category to which the applicant’s parent belongs Important: Please note that this question relates to how the PARENT acquired Irish citizenship.”

      If a child is born abroad to a parent born in Ireland that child is an automatic Irish Citizen. They changed the law in 2005 that if the grandparent became a naturalized citizen of their new country before the child was born than they are not a automatic Irish Citizen so if your mother was born before the 2005 than she was a automatic Irish Citizen and so you would select “Born Abroad to a parent born in Ireland.

      I would wait to have Andrea confirm this as well to be on the safe side.

      Karen

      Reply
  18. Hi Andrea, Thank You for your informative blog post on Irish Dual Citizenship.

    I was wondering how did you have after filling out the online application and submitting it. I know with the Irish Passport it is 6 months due to the age of the photos and was wondering if it is the same for the Foreign Birth Registration process. I think that it would be the same due to the age of the photos but wanted to make sure.

    In order to get documents from Cook County, Illinois, I have to submit a copy of the Foreign Birth application to get certified documents for my grandmother since they are now considered genealogical and can’t be certified until a copy of the application is submitted. Generally it takes Cook County 2 months to send back certified documents so if the Foreign Birth Registration application is also 6 months after printing off application and sending it in than I should be okay.

    I checked the Foreign Birth Registration site and they are now saying that it will take 2 years to process applications due to the delay from Covid shutdown.

    Reply
  19. Such a detailed article. Would you know the best way to make a correction on the application after it was submitted on line. Hoping I can make a note on it and have notary sign it too and then mail in. It is on my grandmother’s DOB. Thank you

    Reply
  20. Andrea!
    Appreciate you sharing your experience. Can you clarify “original” in terms of vital documents? For example, did you send your original birth certificate to Dublin or did you request a new “original” from a US state agency to send out. Im slightly concerned about getting valuable original documents returned to me. Especially now that the process is estimated to take 2 yrs due to Covid and the influx of UK citizens trying to apply becuase of Brexit concerns. So I’m wondering if I need to request new orignals for the required documents.

    For anyone trying to obtain their grandparents birth cert. Ireland makes it fairly easy. I was able to call the district office in Limerick, Ireland to obtain my grandmother’s. All you need is birth name, DOB, father’s name and mother’s maiden name and city/district of their birth. https://www2.hse.ie/services/births-deaths-and-marriages/contact-a-civil-registration-service.html

    Thanks for any light your can shed on this. Christine

    Reply
    • Hi Christine, The only new original documents we used were the ones we didn’t already have. Make paper and digital copies of all of your documents before you send them off so you have something to reference if you need it, and send your documents with tracking. It may be a long time, but it’s better to send what you already have instead of spending even more money to order new documents. And if something were to happen, you can order those “original” documents. – Andrea

      Reply
  21. Hi Andrea, just another quick question — as both my mother and grandfather (who is an Irish-born citizen) are both deceased, I understand I need to send their death certificates – do these need to be notarized? I didn’t see this in the requirements but was curious before I send everything in!
    Thank you for all of your help in these comments!

    Reply
  22. can I use my mothers passport as proof .She was born in 1917 and came to NYC in the 30’s and try many time to get her birth records and could not get a one?

    Reply
  23. Thanks for this helpful information. I’m in the process of applying for FBR and have a question about the size of the passport pictures. U.S. passport pictures are 2″x2″ but the Irish photos can’t be any larger than that. Did you have issues with getting the right size photos at Costco?

    Reply
  24. What if I’m in my 50s and I apply for dual citizenship (great grandparents born in Ireland)., can my children in the 20s apply as well?

    Reply
  25. Hi Andrea,

    Could you tell me what are the duties as a Dual Irish Citizen to Ireland? For example paying Irish taxes if one works in Ireland or in an the EU country. Are there any other duties as a Dual Irish Citizen to Ireland and the EU?

    Thank You!
    Karen

    Reply
    • If you are an American working in a foreign country, you may need to pay US taxes in addition to taxes to the country you reside in. Taxes are really the only thing to take into consideration if you want to live and work in another country outside of the US.

      Reply
  26. Hi Andrea, I applied for my Irish passport in January 2022 but didn’t do the foreign birth registry because my mother was born in Ireland and still holds an Irish passport. My understanding was that I didn’t need to do anything else except for apply for the passport. The passport office is backed up so my application is currently still processing. After reading your blog, now I’m wondering if I should have applied for foreign birth registry first.

    Reply
  27. I read your article and thank you for this ! My question is that I am applying through my maternal grandparents descent. My parents are not Irish citizens. The form online was only asking for one grandparent information. Should I mail all the documentation on both? Also, as I am using grandparents, do I need to include any documents about my mother? Although I am 70, this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Better late than never!
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Wendy, I just took a look. Even if the online form isn’t asking for both grandparents information, you will still need to mail in the documents of both if they are both Irish-born. And you still need your mothers documents as well – see list of documents required above.

      Reply
  28. Hi Andrea,

    I read that you needed to get some newly created certified documents for the ones that you were lacking and was successful in getting your FBR Certificate and Passport.

    I was looking at the Irish Passport site and it indicates that one has to use originals and that one can’t submit certified copies but you were successful in getting your passport with the newly created certified documents.

    I was wondering if you read that on the Irish Passport website and tried it anyway with the newly created certified copies?

    Reply
  29. My ancestors immigrated to the US from Belfast in the mid-1800s. I have traced my ancestry back to them, and have the name of the ship they sailed on (Lord Dungannon). I would really like to apply for Irish citizenship. Would this be possible???

    Reply
    • What an amazing history! The only way that I know about Irish citizenship is that you can get it through as far as your grandparents. I would contact the consulate to see if they have an answer for you.

      Reply
    • Belfast is part of Northern Ireland so part of the UK. The Republic of Ireland is part of the EU. The grandparents rights only come under the Republic of Ireland rather than Northern Ireland. I don’t believe the UK offers a grandparents or ancestors scheme.

      Reply
      • That’s incorrect. If the grandparents were born *anywhere* on the island of Ireland then you can apply for Irish citizenship.

        In fact as a result of the Good Friday peace agreement those born in Northern Ireland have a choice whether to have a UK passport or an IE passport.

        Reply
  30. I received email Aug 3, stating that my Citizeship through entry on the FBR has now been received. What exactly does that mean? I sent in all documents while I was in ireland three weeks ago local mail there to the registry. I had to get the grandparent birthcertificate there which cost 30 bucks…lol its all good.

    Reply
  31. This information was very helpful. Thank you. I have submitted my application and documents and received an email indicating that everything had been received. Assuming all goes well I am wondering if I will get any similar kind of email when the FBR has been approved and the certificate has been sent. Or will the FBR certificate just show up?

    Reply
  32. This was SO HELPFUL. I am getting everything ready now and it’s quite the process lol. When you say a COPY of passports etc… Can I take a photo and print that off? Or it needs to be an actual copy from a machine?

    Reply
  33. My children have dual Irish citizenship through their father. Can I get dual citizen ship due to being a blood relative of my children?

    Reply
  34. Your article was very informative. I have one quick question. If I get a dual citizenship, am I responsible for Irish income taxes too?

    Reply
  35. Hi Andrea,

    Thank you for the really helpful article. I just wanted a bit of advice please on the fact that I’m not on talking terms with my father (he is the side which has the Irish parent). Due to this being able to access a copy of his passport or ID would be extremely hard. Is there any alternative documents?

    Thank you

    Reply
  36. Hi Andrea, great article! When you purchase a ticket to fly from the U.S. to Ireland or other EU country, which passport to you use when purchasing the ticket?

    I know that U.S. citizens must exit and enter using a U.S. passport, however, as we don’t have outgoing border checks there is no government inspection of one’s passport.

    Best I can tell, one should use the U.S. passport info when purchasing a ticket for the U.S. and checking in at the airport and then present the EU passport when landing in Dublin? Any words of wisdom to share based on your experiences? TIA.

    Reply
    • Hi Daniel, If I have a ticket to/from the US, I use my US passport number. If I am flying within the EU, etc, I will use my Irish Passport number. When you leave and enter the US, always use your US passport.

      When entering the EU, i.e. Dublin airport, you can use the EU line with your Irish passport, which is usually an e-gate (no direct contact with border control). The same goes for leaving Dublin. This helps you expedite the process. (So you are correct).

      Reply
  37. Hi,
    My grandmother and grandfather were both born in Ireland. My father got dual citizenship. I applied and also received dual citizenship. Can my children who are all in their 30’s get dual citizenship too? My father was born in the states and so was I.

    Thank You
    Colleen

    Reply
  38. Hey there! My great grandparents were born in Ireland. My grandparents then move to Ireland and owned a home for 1 year. Will be be accepted for my dual citizenship? Thanks!

    Reply
  39. About a year ago, someone posted the scenario where her grandparent was born in Ireland, but her parent was born in the US. From the question, and response, it’s my understanding that if your parent was born before 2005, when the law changed in this regard, that this meant your parent was automatically an Irish citizen. My grandfather was born in Ireland in 1901, he immigrated to the US in 1925, was married in 1931, my dad was born in 1935, and my grandfather became a naturalized citizen of the US in 1938. Does this mean that my dad was an Irish citizen and that my daughter can apply for dual citizenship through my dad (her grandfather)? And that my granddaughter can apply through him also as his great granddaughter?

    Reply
    • Yes, your dad is considered an Irish citizen and YOU can get your FBR. However, since your dad, which is your daughter’s grandfather, was not born in Ireland then the citizenship is not able to be passed on. If you need clarity, I recommend contacting the Irish consulate or embassy directly.

      Reply
  40. Wow, first, bless you Andrea. Great work. This is a really helpful site.

    So, my grandmother was born in Ireland. Got on the FBR before my two kids were born, and I now (just recently) got my passport. My questions are this: (1) How can my spouse take advantage? Can she get an Irish passport? Or, do we have to go through the different lines at the airports when in Europe? I.e., she’d have to use US passport, while I could use my Irish passport? We travel a fair amount and are thinking of living in the EU for a time. Can she work there? Any sources for this stuff also helpful. (2) My kids. Do they now apply for FBR to get their passports? I assume they would only need evidence of my citizenship now, as well as my marriage license and their respective birth certificates. I.e., we don’t have to go way back to my grandmother again. Any thoughts on this stuff is helpful. Best to you. míle buíochas. B

    Reply
    • Hi Brian, I’m glad it’s helpful! Unfortunately, you would have to live in Ireland for some time for your spouse to qualify. You can expedite your customs time by going through the EU line, but your spouse will have to go through the line for US passports (of course, you can also stay with her in this line with your US passport) (I must admit that I ditch my partner all the time to avoid waiting in long lines haha). If your spouse wants to work in the EU she will need to get a visa for the respective country you want to live in (or find a remote US job). I have another site packedforportugal.com… and I’ve written about their new digital nomad visa. Lots of Americans find success in living in Portugal and you can eventually become a citizen… Expect more articles about living in Portugal on this site. Some countries allow you to get a visa through an EU spouse. I don’t have direct links to this info but I recommend looking into a few countries you’re interested in living in.

      In regards to kids, yes they can apply for FBR now and they will need your docs and their own. Follow the “Adult applicant (or Minor) whose parent is an Irish citizen through entry on the Foreign Births Register.” Minor applications require a few extra things.

      Happy travels!

      Reply
  41. Hello! How do I find out if my grandparent/parent were registered as FBR? Both my grandmother and father are deceased and any relatives that may have known are also gone. Is there a data bank that I could access to see if they were registered? They were both born in the US, but my great grandmother was born in Ireland, and I just found out they traveled back to Ireland and perhaps,registered my grandmother. Enjoyed your article, Thanks!

    Reply
  42. Great article. Grandmother was born in Ireland. I have her birth certificate from 1867. I have records of her first marriage. I can not find through churches and gov agencies proof of her marriage to my grandfather. I even have her third marriage documents. I have my dad’s baptism certificate that documents my Irish born grandmother as his mom- my grandfathers name is also on the baptism certificate. So I feel at a loss as I can’t get that one marriage certificate. Any and all ideas appreciated.

    Reply
    • If your grandparents were baptized Catholic and married in the Catholic Church, the church where they were married would have sent a record of the marriage to the churches where they were baptized. You can check with those churches and see if they have it on record. I was able to use this method successfully myself. Ireland is good about honoring church records when the civil one can’t be located. Good luck!

      Reply
  43. Thanks so much for this informative article. I would like to travel and work in Ireland and Europe. I have gathered many documents. It seems like my Irish born grandfather who died before I was born lied about his age on documents in the US. I have a registry entry of his birth on a certificate document authenticated from Ireland but his marriage license and death certificate ages do not correspond. Should I try to get a corrected version of his death certificate which is from the US? Will the Irish government agencies conveying citizenship make allowances for these date differences? If I can get it corrected should I send both versions? My now deceased mother’s birth certificate here in my state also has errors in her exact middle name(a ending rather than e, her mothers middle name, and the day is one day off— it was corrected to this but I could try to get it corrected again. Kind of the same issue of consistency— are allowances made for these circumstances?

    Reply
  44. Hi! Thank you for laying everything out in so much detail. I am in the process of gathering all the documents and have a couple of questions…1) My grandmother was born in Ireland. Both my deceased father and I were born in the US. My father and I have the same last name, and my grandmother’s last name (maiden name) should be on my father’s birth certificate. For clarity, my grandmother was a Boylan and my father and I are Collin’s . I just ordered my grandmother’s birth certificate, my father’s birth certificate and my birth certificate. So, I think that should prove the lineage. I don’t think I need any marriage certificates, but do I? and 2) All my grandparents were actually born in Ireland, but I am unable to trace back and get their documents. Can I apply by using only my paternal grandmother’s information? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • You only need to trace back to one grandparent born on the Island of Ireland, so if your father’s mother was born there then that is enough.

      You should include your grandmother’s marriage certificate to your grandfather to show her change of name, and it is preferable to include your father’s marriage certificate as even though he didn’t change his name it provides additional evidence as it will show his father’s name on it that they can link back to your grandmother’s marriage certificate. Similarly your marriage certificate if you are married. More is better!

      Reply
  45. Hi, I just came across this article and I had a question. For the 4 photos 2 of which need to be witnessed. Do you print them out on photo paper or regular paper? Do they want the paper size to be just the photo, and if so, is your professional witness signing on the back? The photo specs aren’t confusing just the type of paper, size of the paper itself, and where they’re witnessed. I hope this question isn’t annoyingly confusing. Thank you for your help!

    Reply
  46. Thank you so much for this great article. I have one question: when filling out the info for my Irish-born grandmother, the options were married, single or divorced. I put “married” because she was married at the time of her death. Is this correct? Thanks so much!

    Reply
  47. Hi!
    Thanks for your valuable info and help. I can’t find where I would write (and pay) to obtain my grandparents” Irish birth certificates. Have you an address and person?
    Thanks again,
    Paddy O’Connell MacDonald

    Reply
  48. Thanks for the article. I received my FBR certificate so I am a citizen (yay). I am in the process of applying for my passport. The instructions are to send to Dublin a set of documents one of which is, “Applicant’s passport from country of origin/previous nationality.” Did you have to send in your US passport when you applied for your Irish passport?

    Reply
      • OK got it thanks for the clarification. I am assuming they return it and it is still valid when the do. I see the website says it takes 20 working days to process a passport not including sending documents in and getting them back. How long from when you sent yours in to when you got it back?

        Reply
    • Hey Tommy! Did they send you back your certificate together with your original documents (birth certificate etc), or separately? 🙂

      Reply
  49. Hey Andrea! Congratulations on your dual citizenship! I was wondering, did they send you your FBR certificate and your original documents in the same envelope? Or send them to you separately? I have got my documents back now but I don’t think my certificate was included, even though I got the email confirming my registration. Thanks so much in advance for your advice!!

    Reply
  50. I’m applying for dual citizenship by grandparent descendant. I noticed you include the parent’s documents are required as well. Have they changed this to only require your own and the grandparents documentation? Perhaps I’m overlooking it, but currently they don’t appear to ask for the parent’s. Thank you for the article.

    Reply
  51. Will the “How To Get Irish Dual Citizenship By Descent” process apply if both of your Great Grandparents were born in Ireland?

    Reply
  52. Hello
    I am a New Yorker. I am gathering documents.
    my first question is the foreign birth registry asks for marriage ‘certificates’. Whe I got my extended marriage records for my grandmother and mother the city clerk gave me a 3 page ‘ license. Is this the correct document .I explained I was applying for dual citizenship. Also when requesting all the documents from the city for dual citizenship, the city insists I need an apostille on all documents. Is this the case…..? Thanks

    Reply
  53. In respect to ‘original’ documents. I live in NYC and when requesting documents for dual citizenship, they are telling me they have to get sent to the state dept to get Apostilled, which is a multinational recognized seal of approval that other countries accept. Did you do this?
    Also when I applied for long form marriage records, NYC gave me the license ~ not the certificate. Which is confusing. I assume because the license is more detailed.? Why does the foreign registry just request that instead of using the word certificate? Do I have this right. Thanks

    Reply
  54. Finally approved last week for my citizenship. My mother was adopted, but somehow my sister had a copy of the original paperwork. I applied at the beginning of Covid and it took nearly 4 years to finish. All passports applications are online now. See how that goes too. Yes now I tell everyone that I’m Irish! Driving everyone nuts!

    Are you Hawaiian? Kuiipo 🙂 I live in Hawaii and my wife is Hawaiian.

    Mahalo!

    Reply
  55. We are both from Kailua but we are living in Kaneohe now (Kailua is just too crazy nowadays). Funny my wife’s long lost haole ancestors are from Wales maybe you’ve met some! We will visit Ireland later this year to flash my local passport. And you are right, the cool factor is amazing! Other people spend big $$$ to get dual citizenship and ours was only a few dollars and a lot of patience. 🙂

    Aloha Scott

    Reply

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