If you’re an expat living in the Republic of Ireland, you might be considering taking up an Irish citizenship. There are some clear benefits to this. Becoming an Irish citizen means you’re also a member of the EU, and you can live, work and travel freely in any EU member state. You’ll also benefit from all the fundamental rights that Irish citizens are granted, and be able to vote and run for office in Ireland or the EU. There are lots of advantages to becoming an Irish citizen. But what if you don’t want to give up your original nationality to do so?
Taking up dual citizenship might be the answer. Here’s the lowdown on who can apply, and how you can go about getting dual citizenship with the Republic of Ireland.
The island of Ireland is divided into two parts. There’s Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. The information here refers to taking up citizenship of the Republic of Ireland - the southern part of the island. If you’re interested in getting British citizenship - which would allow you to live in Northern Ireland - check out this handy guide to getting citizenship of the United Kingdom.
The good news is that the Republic of Ireland does recognise dual citizenship.
However, whether or not this works for you will depend on your original citizenship. Some other countries don’t accept dual nationalities, so you might be forced by the law in your home country to give up your original citizenship if you become an Irish national.
Although Ireland allows dual citizenship, there are a number of countries which don’t allow dual nationality, regardless of the circumstances. That means that, if you’re from one of these countries, you can’t hold dual citizenship, with Ireland or anywhere else. You’d have to give up your original nationality before taking up your new citizenship. These countries include:
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The laws regarding citizenship - and dual nationality in particular - are complex. If you’re considering taking up a second citizenship it’s important that you first seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer.
Some countries allow dual citizenship without restriction, such as Ireland and the UK. However, some other countries offer dual citizenship only under certain circumstances, or to people whose original citizenship is from a specific country or region.
Some of the main countries which accept dual citizenship with Ireland include:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Triple, or multiple citizenship, is theoretically allowed in Ireland. Because you don’t need to give up previous nationalities to be an Irish citizen, holding other citizenships won’t affect your chances of becoming an Irish citizen.
However, if you become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, and then take up citizenship of a third country, you do need to be wary. That’s because, to get citizenship through naturalisation in the first place you have to show you have a real tie to the country, and that you intend to live there. If you subsequently leave for a long period, or take up an additional citizenship after becoming an Irish national, you could have your Irish citizenship revoked because you’re no longer fulfilling this requirement.
Irish law doesn’t limit the number of nationalities you can have. However, in practical terms, there’s an effective cap on the number of citizenships most individuals can hold. That’s because many other countries ban dual citizenship and every country has its own set of fairly stringent residency requirements for citizens.
You can choose to renounce your Irish citizenship if, for example, you want to take citizenship of a country which doesn’t allow dual nationality. This is done by filling in and filing a declaration of alienage. You have to be over 18 and complete the declaration in the presence of a notary or some other similar professional.
You can lose your citizenship if you’re a naturalised Irish citizen and it’s found that you’ve lied on your application. You can also lose your citizenship if you fail in your duty of loyalty to the state, if you hold citizenship of a country that’s at war with Ireland, or if you live outside of Ireland for over 7 years.
If there’s a risk your citizenship will be revoked, you’ll be notified in writing and have the right to appeal the decision.
There are several steps to becoming an Irish citizen - they’re all set out on the Irish government website.
Here’s an outline of the steps you’ll have to take:
- Ensure you meet the requirements for Irish citizenship
- Submit relevant documents and proof of eligibility
- Pay your fee - currently this is €175 if you’re becoming a citizen by naturalisation
- Assuming your application is approved, you’ll attend a citizenship ceremony where you’re given a certificate of naturalisation
- Following your citizenship ceremony, you can apply for an Irish passport
Before you can apply for Irish citizenship you have to fulfil some fairly strict requirements. One of the requirements is based on your residency. This states that you’ll usually have to have lived in Ireland for 5 years out of the previous 9, before you’re eligible to apply for citizenship. The year before you apply you must reside in Ireland for the whole calendar year. However, these requirements can sometimes be amended or waived if you fulfil other criteria, such as being married to an Irish citizen or having some Irish ancestry.
Once you’ve sent in your application, you should hear back within a week with a confirmation that your paperwork has been received. The actual citizenship decision can take up to 6 months - and longer if you don’t include all the right paperwork with your application.
If I’m obtaining dual citizenship, do I need to inform both countries of my new citizenship, or do the countries themselves do that?
This depends somewhat on your circumstances.
Most likely you won’t need to worry if your country of origin allows dual citizenship without restriction, and you’re becoming an Irish citizen. However, because citizenship is complex and depends on your personal circumstances, it’s worth seeking some professional advice before going too far in the process.
Similarly, if you’re seeking Irish citizenship as a second citizenship, and your country of origin doesn’t allow dual nationality, or has its own restrictions in place, this could get tricky. It’s best to check with an immigration lawyer, or your local embassy or consulate, if you have a duty to inform your home country of your intentions.
Finally, if you hold Irish citizenship through naturalisation and want to seek another citizenship from a different country, you should check the legal implications. Theoretically you could have your Irish citizenship revoked if you no longer have ties to the country, or if you don’t live in Ireland for over 7 years.
Juggling lives between two nations? Want to save money? TransferWise borderless multi-currency accounts could help.
If you have, or are in the process of acquiring, dual nationality, it’s likely that you live and work away from your home country, or frequently need to travel. Splitting your life between different countries can cause some practical headaches. It can also be costly - especially when it comes to moving your money between bank accounts held in different countries and currencies.
The TransferWise multi-currency borderless account is a neat solution for people who live and work abroad, or travel regularly, and need their money to be flexible. You’re able to hold your money in any one of dozens of different currencies, all within one account. You can see your balance at a glance, and then convert money between currencies whenever you need to.
When you switch your money between currencies with TransferWise you’ll always get the same exchange rate that banks use when they trade currencies between themselves. That’s the rate you’d find on Google, and the only real exchange rate. And it’s the only fair rate. While many banks and money transfer services claim that they’ll exchange your money for free, or for a low fee, you could find that they hide their profit in a poor exchange rate. That means you pay more than you have to. With TransferWise, you don’t need to worry about being ripped off with an unfair exchange rate. You just pay a transparent upfront fee, for a quick transfer with no nasty surprises.
From early 2018, you’ll be able to get a consumer debit card linked to your account too. See if you could get a better deal with a TransferWise multi-currency borderless account, today.
TransferWise borderless multi-currency accounts are supported for consumers and businesses living in the following countries
- Aland Islands
- American Samoa
- Irish Indian Ocean Territory
- Irish Virgin Islands
- Cape Verde
- Christmas Island
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Faroe Islands
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- French Southern Territories
- Holy See (Vatican City State)
- Isle of Man
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Helena
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Saint Vincent and Grenadines
- Saint-Martin (French part)
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- South Korea
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Arab Emirates
TransferWise borderless multi-currency accounts support transfers and switching with the following currencies
TransferWise borderless multi-currency accounts can generate local bank details in the following regions / currencies
If you’re considering dual citizenship, there are some practical considerations to bear in mind. Whether or not you can acquire Irish citizenship will depend on your country of origin - but for many expats in Ireland it’s possible.
And if you split your time between two - or more - countries, then it also pays to think about practical solutions to make your money work for you. A TransferWise multi-currency borderless account is built for international people. While traditional banks could charge you excessive fees to move your money around, a borderless account lets your money move with you, with fair exchange rates and transparent fees - so you can just get on with enjoying life.
Check our comprehensive guide on how to get an Irish passport in the UK and how long the process takes.
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