Maryse Jennings, Trainee Solicitor

Maryse Jennings, Trainee Solicitor

Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) is administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade[1]  and is a mechanism where persons born outside, and in certain circumstances in, the island of Ireland, may make an application to gain Irish citizenship by virtue of their parent’s or grandparent’s Irish citizenship or entitlement to Irish citizenship. Once a person is entered into the FBR, they are an Irish citizen and may apply for an Irish passport.

Applicants should note that applications can take 12 to 18 months to be fully processed. At present, due to current Level 5 restrictions, processing foreign birth registrations is paused.

 

Eligibility

There are categories of persons who are eligible for a FBR:

  1. If you are born on the island of Ireland on or before 31 December 2004 you may entitled to Irish citizenship or you are an Irish citizen
  2. If you are born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005 you may be entitled to Irish citizenship if one or both your parents is Irish, is British or entitled to live in Northern Ireland or the Irish State without restriction on their residence, or, is a foreign national legally resident in the island of Ireland or 3 out of the 4 years immediately prior to your birth
  3. If you are a child of A above, and you are born outside the island of Ireland, you may be an Irish citizen
  4. If you are a child of C and a grandchild of A and you are born outside the island of Ireland, you may be entitled to Irish citizenship, but you must first register in the FBR
  5. If you are a child of D and a great grand child of A and you are born outside the island of Ireland, you may be entitled to Irish citizenship by having your birth registered in the FBR but only if your parent, D, had registered you by the time of your birth

 

Applicants

If you are an adult and wish to be make an application to be registered on the basis of your parent’s or grandparent’s Irish citizenship, you must complete an application form and submit documentation to the Department. The application form must but witnessed and original documents should be submitted unless otherwise specified. The documents required include the original birth certificate (showing parental details) of the parent or grandparent you are claiming citizenship through, proofs of address and certified true copy of a State issued identity document. Witnessed passport photographs are also required.

Applications on behalf of a minor for registration on the FBR must also be witnessed and additional documentation on behalf of the applicant and the applicant’s parent/grandparent must be provided – including – proof of the minor’s address from their school or doctor or in the case of adoption, original proof of Irish citizenship at the date the adoption came into effect. Witnessed passport photographs of both the minor and their parent/guardian are required.

Once all documentation is sourced, applications are completed online. A copy of the application form and supporting documents should then be posted to a specific Irish Embassy or Consulate, or to an address in Ireland. Details of where an application should be posted to is provided when applications are entered online.

Fees attach to an application for this registration and payment should be made when an application is entered online. It is important to have all correct documentation and the application form completed correctly as incomplete applications will not be processed.

If your circumstances do not fit into any of the categories to qualify for a FBR, it may be open to you to make an application for Irish citizenship by naturalisation[2].

Should you require assistance with an application to be registered on the Foreign Birth Register or require assistance with applications for citizenship and naturalisation, general immigration matters or visa applications, please contact Stephen Kirwan (stephen.kirwan@kodlyons.ie) of this office.

[1] https://www.dfa.ie/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth/

[2] https://www.irishimmigration.ie/citizenship/become-an-irish-citizen-by-naturalisation/