IRELAND

CITIZENSHIP BY ANCESTRY OR DESCENT

Irish Immigration to America

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Irish Emigration to America

It is estimated that over 6 million Irish people have emigrated to the US since 1820.

An estimated 81 percent (990,000) of all immigrants to the US between 1851 and 1860 were Irish. The number of Americans who identify as Irish is at 43 million. The Great Famine of 1845–1852 led to a peak in Irish emigration. About a quarter of the population at the time, or close to two million people, is thought to have immigrated to the US in a ten-year span. Between 1841 and 1851, Mayo’s population fell from 388,887 to 274,830.

Gender – Irish female Immigrants

Irish immigration to America was notable for its high proportion of females, many of whom were young, unmarried women. Young women made up half of all Irish emigration between 1856 and 1921. The ratio of female to male emigrants from County Mayo to the USA via Irish ports between 1876 and 1885 was 120:100. It peaked at 175:100 between the years 1886 and 1905.

19th Century Irish Population Growth

Ireland’s population doubled in the first part of the 19th century, which followed the relative prosperity brought about by the Napoleonic wars from 1790 to 1815. 4,500,000 people called Ireland home in 1800. By 1841, this had risen to 8,200,000. Younger marriages, more births, and the practice of subdividing land for the following generation were all factors that contributed to this 19th century boom. As a result, m ore people were living on the same piece of land. Alongside this population growth, there was a rise in reliance on the potato, a single crop. The “spud” could be cultivated in sufficient quantities to nutritionally feed the population growth on rather barren land.

Irish Famine and Emigration

The Great Famine of 1845–1852 led to a boom in emigration. Due to the blight that destroyed the potato crop and the inadequate supply of alternate food sources, there was a devastating amount of poverty, mortality, and emigration. The harvest’s overall volume droped to half of 1844 levels by 1855. Due to widespread evictions, the near-famines of 1861–1864, and 1879–1882 as well as the difficulties of subsistence farming, emigration to North America was presented as a means to support and improve life. When shipping was severely hampered during World War 1, immigration to the US decreased. However, it peaked between 1921 and 1923, after which it began to decline due to the global economic crisis and the establishment of US limits on immigration.

How Do I Qualify for Irish Citizenship by Descent

The question of whether someone can claim Irish citizenship by descent depends on a number of factors, especially:

For those Born outside of Ireland

Irish citizenship by descent - Irish grandparent

Irish citizenship by descent - Irish great-grandparent

Foreign Birth Registration

The Foreign Birth Register is a facility to allow individuals that were born outside of Ireland, but have Irish parents or Grandparents, to apply for Irish Citizenship. To register your birth your parent must have been Irish citizen at the time of your birth. This is usually the case if:

1. your grandparent was born in the Republic of Ireland before 1987,
2. your parent had his or her birth registered in the Foreign Births Register before your birth or before 1987, or,
3. your parent held an Irish passport validly issued before your birth.

You are automatically an Irish citizen if one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, and was born on the island of Ireland. You don’t need to apply to become an Irish citizen in this case.

What Documents Are Needed and What is the Process to Apply?

Scenario: Adult applicant applying on the basis of an Irish born Grandparent

Step 1) Collect all your documents

Documents relating to the Applicant (unless stated, originals must be submitted):

Documents relating to the Irish citizen Parent (unless stated, originals must be submitted):

Documents relating to the Grandparent born in Ireland (unless stated, orig. must be submitted):

Scenario: Adult applicant applying on the basis of an Irish born Grandparent

Once you have collected all your lineage documents, it's time to begin filling out the citizenship/ foreign birth registry application.

To complete the entire application process, you will require the assistance of a legal witness. They must complete the applicable section of the application according to the guidelines. Few categories of persons can serve as your legal witnesses.

Along with the online application, hard copies must also be submitted to the appropriate authorities.

Once your initial application is approved, you’ll receive your official Irish Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) in the mail, now its time to apply for your Passport. The actual application for an Irish passport must be mailed.

Self explanatory. Enjoy!

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FAQ'S

Frequently Asked Question

Wonderful! We can take a look at your records and confirm that for you. We will then advise you in detail regarding any missing or deficient records, and also help you determine how to address any discrepancies or other issues that might appear in the records. Many government offices have become much more strict over the last few years in terms of discrepancies or other issues in the content of vital records. This means that your application can be delayed or rejected. Our thorough review and analysis of the records allows us to determine the best way to address these issues before your application is submitted.

If you have all the required documentation, the process of confirmation of citizenship is relatively simple and, based on our experience, can take approximately between 8-10 months. It can become complicated if the events that you need to demonstrate have happened a long time ago, if you do not have the required documents or if other events have occurred that make it difficult to prove the blood ties with your ancestors. Applications for some countries can take up to 48 months.

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Lodging directly yourself via the Consulate, if even possible, may seem like an easy task on paper, however, things to consider are:

  • You may have to navigate your way through foreign laws, regulations and bureaucracy;
  • Figuring out what legislation you are eligible under is often not as straightforward as it may seem.
  • Trying to locate missing ancestral documents can be highly problematic
  • What is Apostilling, notarization and translation?
  • Submitting an application with just ONE mistake, or ONE missing document could delay your application by YEARS!

We have strict policies and procedure in place to guarantee that personal details, documents and information are treated in the strictest of confidence. We never share any information with anyone unless authorised by you.

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