Dr Mike J Smith

Plymouth University

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Irish Citizenship based on ancestry - the easy way!

Sat, 18 Feb 2017

My grandmother was Irish and, as the Irish government allow individuals to apply for citizenship based upon ancestry back to their grandparents, I thought it would be good to go ahead and do it. So two years ago I started putting the paperwork together, this being well before Brexit, and certainly before anyone thought Brexit could actually happen!! If you Google Irish Citizenship you will probably end up at the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service which details the various ways to apply, including by descent. You can apply through them (as I did), but the process is long, slow and relatively expensive. SO DON'T DO IT!

The easiest (and cheapest) way to apply is through a Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) via the Passport Office which will then allow you to apply for a passport (and passcard). The workflow (and online application) are here.

HOWEVER, you will need ALL original paper evidence for the citizenship, which means the relevant grandparent's birth/marriage/death certificate, relevant parent's birth/marriage/death certificate and your birth certificate. If it's the maternal line then EVERY change of name requires documentation (which means marriage) - I'm not sure why they required death, but they did.

Certificates can be original CERTIFIED copies from the General Register Office. You can order UK certificates here.

and if you don't know the register reference you should be able to find it at FreeBMD.

The grandparent's Irish birth certificate can be searched for at FamilySearch and ordered from the Irish Government.

Divorce certificates (in the UK, and if relevant) can be more problematic/expensive as they are recorded in the county court where the divorce was recorded (and you need to know it). You need the reference number otherwise there is a search fee.

The process was rapid, efficient and painless (as long as you have the certificates)... well well worthwhile!

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