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Irish Citizenship By Descent: How I Became A Dual Citizen


by Mariana Poore



Becoming a dual citizen has always intrigued me. The idea of having connections to multiple countries, experiencing different cultures, and enjoying the benefits that come with dual citizenship is undeniably appealing. So, when I discovered the opportunity to obtain Irish citizenship by descent, I couldn’t resist delving deeper into the process.


Irish citizenship by descent is a unique pathway that allows individuals with Irish heritage to claim their Irish citizenship. Many people around the world are eligible for this program, thanks to Ireland’s inclusive and welcoming approach to citizenship.


In this article, I will share my personal journey of becoming a dual citizen through Irish citizenship by descent. I will provide insights into the research, documentation gathering, application process, and the anticipation leading up to the approval. Additionally, I want to highlight the joy and sense of belonging that comes with celebrating dual citizenship.


If you’re curious about the process of acquiring Irish citizenship by descent or considering pursuing it yourself, join me as I recount my experience and offer valuable tips along the way. Let’s dive in!


Background Information on Irish Citizenship by Descent

Irish citizenship by descent is a legal provision that allows individuals with Irish heritage to claim Irish citizenship, even if they were not born in Ireland. This pathway to citizenship is based on the principle of jus sanguinis, meaning “right of blood.” It recognizes the Irish ancestry of individuals as a basis for their eligibility.


Ireland has a long history of emigration, with millions of Irish people leaving the country to seek better opportunities abroad. As a result, a significant diaspora has formed around the world, consisting of people of Irish descent who maintain a strong connection to their heritage and ancestral roots.


The Irish government, recognizing the importance of the Irish diaspora and their contribution to Ireland’s culture and economy, introduced the concept of Irish citizenship by descent. This allows those who have Irish ancestors to reclaim their Irish identity, fostering a sense of belonging and enabling them to explore their ancestral heritage.


One of the unique aspects of Irish citizenship by descent is that it is not limited to a specific number of generations. Unlike some countries that require a direct lineage to a grandparent or great-grandparent, Ireland recognizes any Irish ancestor, regardless of how far back in the family tree they may be.


To qualify for Irish citizenship by descent, individuals must prove that they have an Irish ancestor. This can be done through various documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and census records. The specific requirements may vary depending on the time period and the country in which the ancestor was born.


It’s important to note that while Irish citizenship by descent allows individuals to claim Irish citizenship, it does not automatically grant them the right to reside or work in Ireland. For those interested in living or working in Ireland, separate immigration processes and requirements apply.


Now that we understand the background of Irish citizenship by descent, let’s explore how I embarked on the journey of researching my family history to uncover my Irish roots.


Researching My Family History

Embarking on the process of obtaining Irish citizenship by descent starts with researching one’s family history to trace back the Irish ancestor. For me, this involved delving into the stories of my ancestors, scouring old family records, and connecting with distant relatives.


The first step in my research journey was to speak with older family members who might have valuable information and anecdotes about our family’s history. I listened eagerly as they shared stories passed down through generations, tales of ancestors who had made the journey from Ireland to far-off lands.


Next, I turned to online genealogy databases and historical archives to dig deeper into my family lineage. Websites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org provided invaluable resources, allowing me to access Census records, birth certificates, and marriage records from various countries.


I was fortunate to discover that my great-great-grandfather had emigrated from Ireland during the nineteenth century, settling in the United States. Armed with this knowledge, I was able to locate his birth record in Ireland, providing me with the necessary documentation to proceed with my application for Irish citizenship by descent.


In addition to online resources, I reached out to distant relatives who may have further insights into our family history. With the help of social media platforms and genealogy forums, I was able to connect with relatives I had never even known existed. Sharing our ancestral stories and exchanging information not only strengthened family ties but also provided additional documentation and leads for my application.


This journey of researching my family history not only brought me closer to my Irish roots but also instilled in me a deep appreciation for the sacrifices and resilience of my ancestors. It allowed me to connect with my heritage and understand the rich tapestry of my family’s past.


Now that I had gathered the necessary documents and traced my Irish ancestry, it was time to move on to the next step: gathering the required documentation for the Irish citizenship application.


Gathering the Necessary Documentation

Once I had uncovered the details of my Irish ancestor and established the eligibility for Irish citizenship by descent, the next step was to gather the necessary documentation to support my application. This involved obtaining official records and certificates pertaining to my Irish ancestor and their descendants.


The key documents I needed to gather included birth certificates, marriage certificates, and, in some cases, death certificates. These records would serve as evidence of the relationship between me and my Irish ancestor, establishing the lineage required for Irish citizenship by descent.


I began by locating the birth certificate of my Irish ancestor. This document provided vital information such as their name, date, and place of birth, as well as the names of their parents. It was essential in establishing the connection between me and my Irish ancestor.


In addition to the birth certificate, I also needed to gather the marriage certificates of the subsequent generations. These certificates served as proof of the lineage between my Irish ancestor and me. They demonstrated the progression of the family line, linking each generation to the next.


Obtaining these documents required careful research and communication with various government agencies and archives. In some cases, I had to contact the local civil registration office in Ireland to request copies of birth and marriage certificates. For documents related to other countries, I contacted the respective vital records offices or used online services where available.


It is important to note that each country and jurisdiction may have different procedures for obtaining vital records. Some may require a fee, while others may have specific application forms or require verification of identity. Patience and thoroughness were key as I navigated through the varying requirements and timelines.


Another crucial aspect of gathering documentation was ensuring that all records were correctly and officially translated into English. Translations were necessary to ensure that the documents met the requirements of the Irish government for the citizenship application. I sought the services of certified translators to ensure accuracy and validity.


After months of collecting the necessary documentation and meticulously organizing them, I felt confident in my preparedness to proceed with my application for Irish citizenship by descent. The next step was to submit the application and wait for the approval process to unfold.


Applying for Irish Citizenship

With all the required documentation in hand, I was ready to begin the process of applying for Irish citizenship. The application process involved submitting the completed application form, along with the supporting documents, to the Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


The application form itself was comprehensive and required detailed information about my personal background, including employment history, education, and travel history. It also included sections to outline the lineage and connection to the Irish ancestor, which relied heavily on the gathered documentation.


Accurate completion of the application form was crucial to ensure a smooth and efficient review process. I carefully reviewed each section, filled in all the required details, and double-checked for any errors or omissions. Attention to detail was of the utmost importance to avoid potential delays or complications.


In addition to the completed application form, I submitted all the supporting documents, which included the birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other relevant records. Each document was organized and labelled appropriately to ensure easy identification and verification.


Once the application and supporting documents were ready, I sent them via registered mail to the designated address provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This step required careful consideration of packaging and secure mailing to ensure the safety and integrity of the documents during transit.


After submitting the application, the waiting game began. The processing time for Irish citizenship by descent applications can vary, and it’s important to be patient during this stage. It’s a good idea to keep track of the application’s progress and maintain open lines of communication with the relevant authorities if necessary.


During the waiting period, I took the opportunity to further explore and learn about Irish culture, history, and traditions. I immersed myself in Irish literature, music, and films, deepening my connection to the country and its people.


Finally, after a few months of anticipation, I received the much-awaited notification that my application for Irish citizenship had been approved. The excitement and sense of achievement were overwhelming, knowing that I would soon join the ranks of those with dual Irish citizenship.


The next step after approval was to attend a citizenship ceremony, where I would take an oath of allegiance and pledge my commitment to the values and responsibilities associated with Irish citizenship. It was a significant and emotional moment, marking the formalization of my status as a dual citizen.


Applying for Irish citizenship by descent was a rewarding and transformative process. It allowed me to reconnect with my ancestral roots, embrace a new cultural identity, and forge a stronger connection to Ireland and its people. The journey not only provided the opportunity for dual citizenship but also enriched my life with a deeper understanding of my heritage and a sense of belonging.


Waiting for Approval

After submitting my application for Irish citizenship by descent, a period of anticipation began as I awaited the decision on my application. The waiting period can vary, depending on factors such as the volume of applications and the complexity of individual cases.


During this time, it’s important to be patient and understand that the Irish government needs to thoroughly review each application to ensure compliance with the eligibility criteria and documentation requirements. It’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness, wondering if everything was submitted correctly and if the application would be successful.


To ease my restlessness, I made sure to maintain open lines of communication with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I contacted their office to inquire about the status of my application, adhering to their guidelines and timeline for checking application progress.


It’s important to note that while contacting the authorities about the status of an application is permissible, it’s crucial to refrain from making multiple inquiries or impatiently pushing for faster processing times. This can hinder the overall process and may not yield any additional information beyond what the standard processing timeline dictates.


During the waiting period, I found it helpful to focus on other aspects of my life. I continued my daily routines, pursued personal interests, and remained engaged with work and social activities. Keeping busy allowed me to stay positive and distracted from the uncertainty surrounding my application.


I also took the opportunity to research more about Ireland, its culture, and its people. I immersed myself in Irish literature, watched documentaries, and explored online resources dedicated to Irish history and heritage. This not only deepened my understanding of the country but also served as a reminder of the significance of the Irish citizenship I was seeking.


As the weeks turned into months, I tried to remain hopeful while keeping realistic expectations. I reminded myself that the process of reviewing and approving applications takes time, and that my case would be thoroughly evaluated before a decision was reached.


Finally, the day I had been waiting for arrived. I received an official notification from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, informing me that my application for Irish citizenship had been approved. The feeling of relief, joy, and accomplishment was indescribable.


The approval letter outlined the next steps, including attendance at a citizenship ceremony to formalize my new status as a dual citizen. It also provided information on obtaining an Irish passport, which would grant me the privilege of unrestricted travel within the European Union and other benefits associated with Irish citizenship.


Waiting for the approval of my Irish citizenship application was a rollercoaster of emotions. It taught me patience, perseverance, and appreciation for the process. The wait was well worth it, as it led to a life-changing outcome and the opportunity to embrace my Irish heritage on a deeper level.


Celebrating Dual Citizenship

After receiving the approval for my Irish citizenship application and attending the citizenship ceremony, I was officially recognized as a dual citizen of Ireland. It was a momentous occasion that called for celebration and reflection on the significance of this new chapter in my life.


To mark this milestone, I decided to plan a trip to Ireland, the land of my ancestors. It was an opportunity to immerse myself in the culture, explore the breathtaking landscapes, and connect with the warm-hearted people who call Ireland home. This journey allowed me to embrace my newfound Irish identity and experience firsthand the traditions and customs that were now an integral part of my heritage.


Arriving in Ireland, I was greeted with a sense of belonging and excitement. The rich history, vibrant cities, and stunning countryside captured my heart and affirmed my decision to pursue Irish citizenship by descent. I made a point to visit the places of significance to my ancestors, tracing their footsteps and paying homage to their heritage.


During my time in Ireland, I had the opportunity to engage in various cultural activities. From attending traditional music sessions in cozy pubs to participating in local festivals and events, I soaked in the essence of Irish culture. I relished the chance to connect with fellow Irish citizens and share stories of our shared heritage.


One particular highlight of my trip was experiencing St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. Joining the festivities, witnessing the vibrant parades, and embracing the joyous atmosphere was a true celebration of both my Irish and dual citizenship. It was a powerful reminder of the cultural significance of this day and how it brings people of Irish descent together from all around the world.


With my Irish passport in hand, I also took advantage of the benefits that came with being an Irish citizen. I could now travel freely within the European Union, opening up a world of opportunities to explore new countries and cultures. The ease of crossing borders without limitations was a tangible reminder of the advantages that dual citizenship offers.


Back in my home country, I continued to celebrate my dual citizenship by actively engaging in events and organizations that fostered Irish culture and heritage. From participating in Irish dance workshops to joining Irish community groups, I found a sense of community and pride in my dual heritage.


Furthermore, my dual citizenship served as a bridge between two countries, allowing me to build connections and strengthen relationships with people from both Ireland and my home country. This newfound connection created a sense of unity among family and friends, who shared in the joy of my Irish citizenship achievement.


Celebrating dual citizenship is an ongoing journey, one that encourages me to explore and appreciate the similarities and differences between my two countries. It reminds me of the rich tapestry of my background and the legacy that has been passed down through generations.


Obtaining Irish citizenship by descent has been a life-changing experience. It has opened doors, ignited a sense of pride, and allowed me to embrace and celebrate the immense cultural heritage that comes with being a dual citizen of Ireland. I am grateful for the opportunity to honor my ancestors, contribute to the Irish diaspora, and continually explore and deepen my understanding of my Irish heritage.



Obtaining Irish citizenship by descent and becoming a dual citizen has been an incredible journey filled with discovery, connection, and celebration. From researching my family history to gathering the necessary documentation, applying for Irish citizenship, waiting for approval, and finally celebrating the achievement, each step has brought me closer to my Irish roots and enriched my life in countless ways.


Irish citizenship by descent is a pathway that allows individuals with Irish heritage to reclaim their Irish identity and connect with their ancestral homeland. The process involves researching family history, gathering documentation, and submitting an application to the Irish government. While the waiting period can be filled with anticipation, the approval and the subsequent citizenship ceremony make it all worthwhile.


Becoming a dual citizen of Ireland has not only granted me the practical benefits of Irish citizenship, such as the ability to travel freely within the European Union, but it has also deepened my sense of belonging and cultural connection. It has allowed me to embrace a rich heritage, celebrate Irish traditions, and forge connections with both Ireland and my home country.


The journey of obtaining Irish citizenship by descent has taught me patience, resilience, and perseverance. It has sparked a deep curiosity in exploring my family history and understanding the sacrifices and journeys of my ancestors. It has also fostered a sense of community and unity among fellow Irish citizens and those with shared heritage.


Whether it’s participating in cultural events, exploring Ireland’s breathtaking landscapes, or simply cherishing the privilege of dual citizenship, the experience of being a dual citizen of Ireland has brought immense joy and a profound sense of pride. It is a testament to the enduring connection between individuals and their ancestral roots.


For those considering pursuing Irish citizenship by descent, I encourage you to embark on this transformative journey. Embrace the opportunity to discover your heritage, connect with your ancestral homeland, and celebrate the richness of Irish culture. The process may have its challenges, but the rewards far outweigh them.


As a dual citizen, I am grateful for the doors that this unique opportunity has opened and the enduring connection it has forged. It is a privilege to carry the heritage of Ireland within me, and I will continue to honor and celebrate my dual citizenship with pride and gratitude.