IRISH CITIZENSHIP BY DECENT
Foreign Birth Registration - (FBR)
Citizenship by Birth:
- Anyone born in Ireland is an Irish citizen except children of parents holding diplomatic immunity in Ireland;
- Anyone born outside Ireland, whose father or mother was born in Ireland, is an Irish citizen.
If the parent has derived Irish citizenship in another manner, e.g. through marriage, adoption or naturalization, further information can be obtained your local Irish Consular office.
If one of the above does not apply, citizenship is not automatic and must be acquired through application.
Applying for Citizenship by Descent:
Anyone born outside Ireland, whose father or mother is an Irish citizen, not born in Ireland, can become an Irish citizen by having his or her birth entered in the Irish Register of Foreign Births at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
For individuals applying for foreign birth registration, the usual situation is one where citizenship is derived from an Irish-born grandparent. There is no longer a physical form to fill out. The application is now completed online and printed out via the link to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (see link below).
The application, supporting documentation, and fee are then mailed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin, Ireland. Currently, it is estimated that there is a six month processing time for FBR applications.
Under Irish law, you are not required to give up citizenship of another country to become an Irish citizen. Applicants should always clarify the position governing the adoption of a second citizenship with the authorities of their native country of citizenship. The U.S. Department of State does not encourage dual citizenship, however, it does not prohibit it.
Important to note:
Since 1 July, 1986 a person registered in the Foreign Births Entry Book after 1986 is deemed to be an Irish citizen only from the date of his/her entry in the Register and not from the date of birth. This means that children born to that person before his/her date of entry in the Register are not entitled to citizenship.
Persons registered before July 1986 are deemed Irish citizens either from the date the original Citizenship Act came into force, i.e. 17 July 1956, or their date of birth, whichever is later. Only children born after 17 July 1956 can claim citizenship in such cases.
Once an application for entry in the Register of Foreign Births has been found to be in order, all original supporting documents are returned to the address given on the application form.
Please observe that the filing of an application does not in itself confer Irish citizenship. Once the process is completed, the applicant will be provided with a certificate confirming his or her entry in the Irish Register of Foreign Births. This certificate can be used as proof of Irish citizenship when applying for an Irish passport. Please note that Passport applications cannot be accepted at the time of citizenship application and that these are two separate and distinct processes.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR FOREIGN BIRTH REGISTRATION?
- A correctly completed and witnessed application form [FB1A for persons over 18 years of age or FB1B for persons under 18 years of age] must be submitted with the appropriate fee, and with supporting original documentation sufficient to demonstrate clearly the identity of the applicant and the relationship between the applicant, the parent and the Irish-born grandparent. Note: it is only necessary to claim through one Irish-born grandparent and one parent.
- The following list is a guide to supporting documentation, which must be produced by persons submitting an application for registration in the Foreign Births Entry Book. The documents are requested to prove the identity of the applicant and the relationship between the applicant, the parent, and the grandparent. Supplementary documentation may be necessary when the supporting documents listed below are unobtainable, incomplete, inaccurate, ambiguous, or insufficient because of local administrative processes. If documents are not in English, an English translation from an official translator is required.
- Complete the FBR application online at The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website:
A. Documents relating to your Irish Born Grandparent:
For the grandparent three documents are required in normal circumstances:
A.1. The full, long form (i.e. showing the names of the parents of the child) Irish birth certificate. Birth records have been maintained centrally in Ireland since 1864 and certified copies may be obtained by applying to the Registrar of Births., or by applying to the Superintendent Registrar of the district where your grandparent was born. Requests to the Registrar should detail the grandparent's full name, and the date and place of birth. If not already known, this information is often obtainable from death/marriage certificates.
A.2. The marriage license/certificate.
A.3. If the grandparent is deceased, the death certificate; if living, a current official photo I.D. (e.g. a driving license, passport).
B. Documents relating to your Parent:
B.1. The full, long form, birth certificate of your parents, showing your grand parents' names, places of birth and ages at time of birth. Note: Birth certificates, which do not contain this information, are not sufficient of themselves to establish a clear relationship to the Irish-born grandparent.
B.2. The marriage license/certificate.
B.3. If the parent is deceased, the death certificate; if living, a current official photo I.D. (e.g. a driving license, passport.)
C. Documents relating to you, the Applicant:
C.1. Full, long form, birth certificate, that is, one that shows parents' names, places of birth and ages at time of birth. Note: Birth certificates, which do not contain this information, are not sufficient of themselves to establish a clear relationship to the parent. Can be obtained from the city or town Clerk’s Office where you were born or, if in Massachusetts from the State Registry (see below).
C.2 Where there is a change of name, e.g. on marriage, supporting documentation must be provided, e.g. marriage license/certificate.
C.3. Two recent passport type photographs which must be signed and dated on the back by the witness to section E of the application form at the same time as the form is
C.4. Notarized copy of current US passport (if held).
C.5. Notarized copies of three additional proofs of identity, one of which must be a photo I.D., such as a driver's license. Please provide a copy of a bank statement/utility bill, showing your present address.
C.6. In the case of a person under 18, the person submitting the application (a parent or guardian) must also submit proof of identity as at C3, C4 & C5 above.
D.1. Applicants should check with the relevant FBR processing office for details of current fees, communications costs, and acceptable forms of payment. Current fee -
$321.00. Fee must be paid online.
Important to Note:
Church certified baptismal and marriage certificates may be considered when an applicant can produce a statement from the relevant state authority to the effect that they have been unsuccessful in their search for the civil record.
Hospital birth certificates are not acceptable.
All official documents - birth, death, marriage certificates - must be original or certified copies from the issuing authority, properly sealed and stamped. All other necessary supporting documents, e.g. proofs of identity, must be originals or notarized copies of the originals [note: please send notarized copies, not originals, of current passport, driver's license, and any other important identification].
A copy of all supporting documentation must be included with the originals upon submission.
Consulate General of Ireland - Boston:
Jurisdiction: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
Consulate General of Ireland
535 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Tel: (617) 267-9330
Irish Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates may be obtained at:
General Register Office, Ireland:
Massachusetts birth, marriage, death certificates:
Visit or order online:
Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st FL.
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Main Telephone: (617) 740-2600