Citizenship by Descent

Irish citizenship is the most valuable in the world. It allows visa-free travel to the US and Australia and enables you to stay for as long as you want in the European Union and the UK. The Ireland citizenship by ancestry program is a great way to get a Irish passport. The Ireland citizenship by Ancestry or Descent is open to individuals with Irish ancestry going back as far as great grandparents. Foreigners normally must have 5 years of residence in Ireland before being able to apply for naturalization.

Ireland accepts dual citizenship, so you won’t have to forfeit your citizenship to apply. We can assist you to become an Irish citizen now and claim your Irish passport.


There are commonly 4 categories in which to qualify for Irish citizenship by ancestry:

  1. If you or your parent were born on the island of Ireland before 2005, you are an Irish citizen. You can apply for an Irish passport without applying for citizenship.
  2. If your Irish parent was born outside of Ireland, you will need to register via the Foreign Birth Registration.
  3. If one of your grandparents was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen. You’ll need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register.
  4. If one of your great-grandparents was born in Ireland, but none of their descendants were, you can apply for fast-track naturalization after 3 years of residence.

In category 1, you are legally an Irish citizen and can simply visit the nearest Irish consulate to apply for an Irish passport.

Under categories 2 and 3, you will need to register in the Foreign Births Register with the correct documents and wait approximately 12 to 18 months.

Under category 4, you will need to first obtain a resident permit and hold one for at least 3 years to be deemed to have a strong enough connection with Ireland. It takes up to 30 months for a decision through this process. To obtain a resident permit, you are recommended to apply to the Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme (a.k.a. Golden Visa) to gain a 5-year resident permit. This will allow the applicant to further his claim of a strong connection with Ireland and enable less physical presence in Ireland. It’s at the discretion of the Minister to determine whether your physical presence is sufficient relative to your status. The Investor Visa only requires 1 day of residence a year to maintain your residence status, but to apply for naturalization you must spend at least a few months a year in Ireland. To qualify for the Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme, you will need to invest at least €500,000 in the country.

Capital City


Visa free countries


Total area

84,421 km²


English, Irish Gaelic


Euro €



Time Zone



Visa-free travel to 185 countries once citizenship is granted

Freedom of movement in the EU

European Citizenship awarded after 5 years

No residency requirement


Application Processing Time: 1-5 Years


Stage 1 - Year 1

Gather your documents and proof of ancestry by searching records in your home country and Ireland. If you’re in category 1, simply go to the Irish consulate near you and apply for your Irish passport. If you’re in category 2 or 3, you’ll need to file your request with the Foreign Births Register. If you’re in category 4, you’ll need to obtain a resident permit, preferably under the Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme. The application process takes a few months.

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Stage 2 - Year 2

If you’re in category 2 or 3, expect to have your citizenship certificate sent to you after 12 to 18 months. If you’re in category 4, you’ll have to wait 3years before you can petition the Minister for fast-track naturalization.


Stage 3 - Year 4

If you’re in category 4, you can petition the Minister for naturalization after 3 years of legal residence. You must submit all documents proving your Irish ancestry. The approval is expected to take 2.5 years.

Ireland Citizenship by Descent
Application Requirements

The process for Irish citizenship by ancestry via the Foreign Birth Registration takes approximately 12 to 18 months. Those that petition the Minister after three years of residency should expect roughly 30 months before a decision is made and citizenship is awarded.


Other requirements:



Week 1
Week 1
Verify eligibility
Week 1
Week 2
Week 2
Start client onboarding process with Global RCG
Week 2
Week 3
Week 3
Global RCG helps you gather the required documents with the help of our genealogist.
Week 3
Week 8
Week 8
Application for citizenship is filed. Depending on your case, the process can take 1 month if it's via the consulate route, 12 to 18 months for the Foreign Registry route, and 5 to 6 years via the residency route
Week 8

Do you qualify for Irish citizenship?

Take a free eligibility test today! Your eligibility for ancestry-based citizenship will be determined within 48 hours by the internal genealogy team at Global RCG.

Download Our Factsheet

Do you need more information about the Ireland Immigrant Investor program? Download the complete factsheet below:

Required & Non-Required Visa Countries



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