Home to picturesque landscapes, a lively culture, and a warm and welcoming population, Ireland is one of the best countries in the world to live and work. The Irish citizenship by descent program allows individuals with Irish lineage to claim Irish citizenship and enjoy all the rights and privileges it entails – be it access to the European Union or voting rights in Ireland. In this article, we will talk about Irish citizenship by descent in detail, the application process, eligibility criteria, and the benefits of becoming an Irish citizen.

Benefits of Irish Citizenship

By obtaining Irish citizenship by descent, you can enjoy a whole set of benefits exclusive to European Union nationals. With Irish citizenship, you have the freedom to live and work in any of the EU countries. In addition, the Ireland passport is one of the world’s most powerful passports, ensuring exceptional visa-free travel accessibility across the globe. Ireland citizenship truly opens up a sea of opportunities for people with Irish ancestry. Here are some of the benefits of Living in Ireland in detail:

Freedom to live anywhere

If you are an Irish citizen, you can choose to live anywhere in the world. You don’t have to reside in Ireland to retain your z. But depending on the country you decide to reside in, you might have to get a visa or a special permit. While choosing your country of residence, you can leverage your European Union citizenship to avail a zero-tax residency program.

Seamless movement within the EU

As a member of the European Union, Irish citizens have the right to travel freely within EU states. Moreover, Irish citizens can also live and work in any EU country of their choice.

Powerful passport

The Irish passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world in terms of global mobility and investment index. Often considered low-risk, Irish passport holders can travel around the world freely. Since Ireland is an EU state, having an Irish passport is truly a great asset.

Visa free travel

Irish passport holders can do visa-free travel to more than 174 countries around the world. Be it for business or leisure, you can travel the world with your Irish citizenship.

Here is a list of countries and their visa requirements for Irish citizens.

  • Albania – visa-free/90 days
  • Andorra- visa-free
  • Angola – pre-visa on arrival
  • Antigua and Barbuda – visa-free/180 days
  • Argentina – visa-free/90 days
  • Armenia – visa-free/180 days
  • Austria – visa-free
  • Azerbaijan – evisa/ 30days
  • Bahamas – visa-free/90 days
  • Bahrain- visa on arrival/evisa/30 days
  • Bangladesh -visa on arrival/30 days
  • Barbados- visa-free/180 days
  • Belarus – visa-free/30 days
  • Belgium – visa-free
  • Belize – visa-free
  • Bolivia – visa-free/90 days
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – visa-free/90 days
  • Botswana – visa-free/90 days
  • Brazil – visa-free/90 days
  • Brunei – visa-free/90 days
  • Bulgaria – visa-free
  • Burkina Faso- visa on arrival/90 days
  • Burundi – visa on arrival/30 days
  • Cambodia- visa on arrival/evisa/30 days
  • Cape Verde- visa free (EASE)/ 30 days
  • Chile – visa-free/90 days
  • Colombia- visa-free/90 days
  • Comoros – visa on arrival/45 days
  • Congo (Dem. Rep.) – evisa/90 days
  • Costa Rica – visa-free/90 days
  • Croatia – visa-free
  • Cuba- tourist card/30 days
  • Cyprus – visa-free
  • Czech Republic – visa-free
  • Denmark – visa-free
  • Djibouti-  evisa
  • Dominica – visa-free/180 days
  • Dominican Republic – visa-free
  • Ecuador – visa-free/90 days
  • Egypt – visa on arrival/evisa/30 days
  • El Salvador – visa-free/90 days
  • Equatorial Guinea – evisa
  • Estonia – visa-free
  • Eswatini – visa-free/30 days
  • Ethiopia-  evisa/90 days
  • Fiji – visa-free/120 days
  • Finland – visa-free
  • France – visa-free
  • Gabon – visa-free/30 days
  • Gambia – visa-free/90 days
  • Georgia – visa-free/360 days
  • Germany- visa-free
  • Greece – visa-free
  • Grenada – visa-free/90 days
  • Guatemala – visa-free/90 days
  • Guinea – evisa/90 days
  • Guinea-Bissau visa on arrival/90 days
  • Guyana – visa-free/90 days
  • Haiti – visa-free/90 days
  • Honduras- visa-free/90 days
  • Hong Kong- visa-free/90 days
  • Hungary- visa-free
  • Iceland- visa-free
  • India – eVisa/30 days
  • Indonesia-  visa on arrival/ eVisa/ 30 days
  • Iran – eVisa/ 30 days
  • Iraq – visa on arrival/60 days
  • Israel – visa-free/90 days
  • Italy – visa-free
  • Jamaica – visa-free/90 days
  • Japan – visa-free/90 days
  • Jordan – Visa on arrival/ eVisa
  • Kazakhstan – visa-free/30 days
  • Kenya – eVisa/90 days
  • Kiribati – visa-free/120 days
  • Kosovo – visa-free/90 days
  • Kuwait – Visa on arrival/eVisa/90 days
  • Kyrgyzstan – visa-free/60 days
  • Laos – Visa on arrival/eVisa/30 days
  • Latvia – visa-free
  • Lebanon – visa on arrival/30 days
  • Lesotho – visa-free/90 days
  • Liechtenstein – visa-free
  • Lithuania – visa-free
  • Luxembourg – visa-free
  • Macao – visa-free/90 days
  • Madagascar – visa on arrival / eVisa/90 days
  • Malawi – visa on arrival / eVisa/30 days
  • Malaysia – visa-free/90 days
  • Maldives – visa on arrival/30 days
  • Malta – visa-free
  • Marshall Islands – visa-free/90 days
  • Mauritania – visa on arrival
  • Mauritius – visa-free/90 days
  • Mexico – visa-free/180 days
  • Micronesia – visa-free/30 days
  • Moldova – visa-free/90 days
  • Monaco – visa-free
  • Mongolia – visa-free/30 days
  • Montenegro – visa-free/90 days
  • Morocco – visa-free/90 days
  • Mozambique – visa-free/30 days
  • Namibia visa-free/90 days
  • Nepal – visa on arrival / eVisa/150 days
  • Netherlands – visa-free
  • Nicaragua – visa-free/90 days
  • Nigeria – eVisa
  • North Macedonia – visa-free/90 days
  • Norway – visa-free
  • Oman – visa on arrival / eVisa/30 days
  • Palau – visa-free/90 days
  • Palestinian Territories – visa-free
  • Panama – visa-free/90 days
  • Papua New Guinea – eVisa/60 days
  • Paraguay – visa-free/90 days
  • Peru – visa-free/180 days
  • Philippines – visa-free/30 days
  • Poland – visa-free
  • Portugal – visa-free
  • Qatar – free visa on arrival/30 days
  • Romania – visa-free
  • Russian Federation – eVisa/15 days
  • Rwanda – visa on arrival/ eVisa/ 30 days
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis – visa-free/90 days
  • Saint Lucia – visa-free/42 days
  • Samoa – visa on arrival/90 days
  • San Marino – visa-free
  • Sao Tome and Principe – visa-free/15 days
  • Saudi Arabia – visa on arrival / eVisa/90 days
  • Senegal – visa-free/90 days
  • Serbia visa-free/90 days
  • Sierra Leone – visa on arrival / eVisa/30 days
  • Singapore – visa-free/90 days
  • Slovakia – visa-free
  • Slovenia visa-free
  • Solomon Islands – visa on arrival/90 days
  • Somalia – visa on arrival/30 days
  • South Africa – visa-free/90 days
  • South Sudan eVisa
  • Spain – visa-free
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines – visa-free/90 days
  • Suriname – tourist card/90 days
  • Sweden – visa-free
  • Switzerland – visa-free
  • Taiwan – visa-free/90 days
  • Tajikistan – visa on arrival/eVisa/45 days
  • Tanzania visa on arrival/eVisa
  • Thailand – visa-free/30 days
  • Timor-Leste – visa on arrival/90 days
  • Togo – visa on arrival/eVisa/15 days
  • Tonga – visa on arrival/31 days
  • Trinidad and Tobago – visa-free
  • Tunisia – visa-free/90 days
  • Tuvalu – visa on arrival/30 days
  • Türkiye – visa-free/90 days
  • Uganda – visa-free/90 days
  • Ukraine – visa-free/90 days
  • United Arab Emirates – visa-free/30 days
  • United Kingdom – visa-free
  • Uruguay – visa-free/90 days
  • Uzbekistan – visa-free/30 days
  • Vanuatu – visa-free/30 days
  • Vatican City – visa-free
  • Venezuela – visa-free/90 days
  • Vietnam – eVisa/90 days
  • Zambia – visa-free/90 days
  • Zimbabwe- visa on arrival/90 days

Eligibility for Irish Citizenship

Interested applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria to obtain Irish citizenship by descent. Below, you can find the requirements:

You have to be born in Ireland or Northern Ireland

Individuals born in Ireland or Northern Ireland before 1 January 2005 and who have at least one parent of Irish or British citizenship will be eligible for Irish citizenship by descent.

Irish citizenship

You will be eligible to obtain Irish citizenship by descent if you have Irish ancestry, that is, at least one Irish grandparent or a parent who is an Irish citizen. This is also applicable to individuals who are born outside of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Residency permit

You are eligible to obtain Irish citizenship by descent if one or both of your parents hold a residency permit in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Steps to Obtain Irish Citizenship by Descent

1. Registration of your birth

2. Application submission

3. Approval certificate

Interested applicants can follow these steps in order to obtain Irish citizenship by descent.

Registration of your birth

The first step to becoming an Irish citizen is by registering your birth. Your birth has to be registered in the Foreign Births Register with all supporting documents and certificates.

Application submission

You need to complete the Irish citizenship by descent application form and submit it to the relevant office with the necessary documents.

Approval certificate

If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation certificate stating the completion of your registration in the Irish Register of Foreign Births.

Once your registration is complete, you will be officially recognized as an Irish citizen. After this, you only need to obtain an Irish passport so that you can fully enjoy the rights and privileges of an Irish citizen.

How to get an Irish Passport by descent?

You need to meet specific guidelines to obtain an Irish passport. To get an Irish passport, you have to provide valid documents like your original birth certificate, documents proving your identity and address, travel documents, digital passport photographs, and documentation proving the Irish citizenship of at least one of your parents or grandparents. In addition to this, you will also have to pay a fee for your passport application.

Waiting time and fee to get an Irish passport

  • Standard 10-year passport: €75
  • 66-page 10-year passport: €105
  • Passport Card: €35
  • Standard passport + Passport Card: €100
  • 66-page passport + Passport Card: €130
  • 5-year standard passport for those under 18: €20
  • 5-year 66-page passport for those under 18: €50
  • Standard 5-year passport + Passport Card for the under-18: €45
  • 5-year 66-page passport + Passport Card for the under-18: €75

In addition to the fees mentioned above, you need to pay a postal fee of $5 if you reside in Ireland and $15 if you are outside Ireland. Please note that the normal waiting time for the online passport application is around 20 business days, but it varies depending on the demand. Once you submit your application, you can track it online.

Other Routes to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Apart from obtaining Irish citizenship by descent, there are other ways through which you can obtain Irish Citizenship. They include the following:

Citizenship by naturalization – Under this option, you can obtain Irish citizenship by residing in Ireland for a minimum of five years within the nine years before your application. It takes a longer time to obtain citizenship in Ireland through this process.

Citizenship through marriage – If you are in a civic relationship or married to an Irish partner and living in Ireland for three years and more, you are eligible to apply for Irish citizenship. Ireland also accepts same-sex marriage.

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