Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How Do I Get Irish Citizenship?

As you can imagine, a number of social networks are devoted to international travel and moving abroad. One of these websites, which I belong to, is http://www.expatexchange.com/. Recently, within the Forum on Ireland, a fellow threw out a general question:

Hi, I am new to this site, and I am looking to get some information on moving to Ireland. Some of the information I would like to get is, what are the requirement to get citizenship, (web sites, E - mail addresses ect.) Information on and how to on finding a job there, how to transport my motorcycle to Ireland, What I need and how to get a driver's license, information on the different areas of Ireland, (what places are good to move to.) Basicly I'm looking for the whole nine yards on this. I am looking to spend a year in the United States, then leave and move to Ireland. Any will help, thank you very much!!!

He (or she) has asked a whole lot of questions, many of which I've been asked before (mind you, the question regarding the motorcycle is a little out there!) While I'll answer this expectant person's questions at length in another write, here's how I answered, and I hope it may be of interest to others thinking of moving to Ireland:

"Hi, My name is Tom - originally from Chicago, but living in Ireland for the past 27 years. First, for more information that might help you, you might want to visit my blog: http://survivingireland.blogspot.com/. You've a number of Qs: too many to answer in this space, so I'll answer most of them in the blog. However, to answer your first question: Gaining citizenship in Ireland for non-EU nationals is difficult. If you are the son or daughter of an Irish citizen, or the grandson or grand-daughter of same, you have the legal right to citizenship. Go to Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs for more information. If, however, you do not have such Irish ancestry, it may prove difficult. You could, of course, do what I did: marry an Irish lass! Citizenship can then be organised after a few years of residency here. I'll answer at length on my blog, above. Good luck! Tom"

I'm often amazed at questions of this type. The 'feeling' that I get from such Qs fill me with a certain level of concern for such folks: I get the feeling that many people think that getting Irish citizenship is easy. It is not! Unless you have Irish ancestry (as described above), getting citizenship can be a complicated and difficult process. This is due to a number of factors including a desire by the Irish government to protect jobs for indigenous Irish: fairly recently, new legislation was enacted that attempted to stem the tide of immigration.

The economic tide has turned now, of course. Unemployment is hovering at 10 percent, and is likely to go much higher before Christmas 2009. For that reason, it is likely to become even more difficult to become a citizen of the Irish Republic.

But take heart! In a next edition, I'll explain how you can use existing laws and opportunities to live in this land of constant rain. And now...I think I'll put on my hat and take a walk...in Ireland's rain swept summer!

1 comment:

  1. check out irelandsimmigrationadviser.ie they are experts at the irish system and are happy to help with all sorts of queries regarding the Irish Immigration.