Irish Citizenship

I was born in England and am a British citizen, living in Ireland since 2007, and enjoying the benefits of EU citizenship to live and work anywhere in Europe.

I am also married to an Irish woman and own a home in Dublin, so my current and future life is in Ireland. And while I don’t imagine that Brexit will affect my ability to stay here, I would like to formalise my relationship with the country I call home by becoming one of its citizens.

Transitioning from British to Irish

Application progress

Although I qualify to apply in my own right based on the length of my residence (I’ve lived here over 11 years), my application (self completed) was on the basis of being married to an Irish citizen.

DateStatusWaiting Time
15th March 2018Application sent
20th March 2018Application received by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) according to An Post tracking5 days
29th March 2018Passport returned along with an acknowledgement – dated 27th Mar 2018 – that they had received my application, and an acknowledgement of receipt for my application fee, and that an application number will be issued in due course2 weeks
1st June 2018Letter received with formal receipt of payment and with an application reference number8 weeks
10th June 2019Letter received saying my application has proceeded to the second stage of processing. 15 months
19th November 2019Letter received asking for payment of €950 and two passport photos.20 months
25th November 2019Letter received inviting me to the next Citizenship Ceremony20 months
9th December 2019Citizenship Ceremony, Killarney Convention Centre20 months

Waiting time

When I applied in 2018 INIS were saying that a typical simple application takes around 6 months to process. However it took me over 20 months for my application to be processed, or 1 year, 8 months and 24 days to be specific.

Admittedly there was the high court ruling stopped all granting of citizenship by around 4 months, but it was still a long time to wait.

Observations

  • The naturalisation process is quite expensive. It cost €175 to submit an application, and then a further €950 certification fee for an adult, a total of €1,125 – and that doesn’t include the cost of an Irish passport.
  • You also need to factor in the cost of passport photos, postage, bank drafts, and the cost of using a solicitor or notary public to certify copies of documents. My bank charges €10 to issue a bank draft, which is the only payment form accepted. My solicitor charged €50 to make certified copies of documents.
  • Since 2018 almost all of the citizenship ceremonies – which are mandatory to attend for adults – have taken place in Killarney in County Kerry, which may require a long travel depending on where in the country you live.
  • My passport was returned a lot quicker than expected. The INIS website says “Your passport will be returned to you when initial processing is complete, about 6 weeks after you submit your application”. On that basis I had postponed some potential travel plans thinking I wouldn’t get my passport back until early May 2018. However I received it back a lot quicker than that – only 2 weeks after sending it off.

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