Ireland is a great place for many people to abode with their families. The country is renowned for its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and rich culture. Ireland also offers a great quality of life, a strong economy, as well as world-class healthcare and education system. Ireland is easy for foreigners to immigrate to, and the culture is extremely welcoming.
The Irish residency programme – the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), allows its investors to establish residency and later become eligible for citizenship. Our clients frequently ask questions about Irish citizenship as many of them have received or will be receiving their Stamp 4 visa (PR equivalent) by investing in Bartra’s IIP projects. For some of them it’s their goal is to move to Ireland. In this article, we are going to discuss the rights and benefits of an Irish citizen, citizenship and naturalization rules as well as eligibility. We also will share some thoughts from an interview with the Hong Kong Irish Chamber of Commerce, where our Marketing Director Jay Cheung spoke with their Treasurer, Henry Au, who is also the Chairman of Trinity College Dublin. The discussion focused on why many countries have built a strong bilateral relationship with Ireland, and the opportunities Ireland can offer for families around the world.
But, first and foremost, we would like to show you how welcoming Ireland is to people and families from different countries who want to set their roots in Ireland. Click to view a video from the Department of Justice in Ireland which was recorded at the Citizenship Ceremony in 2022 where applicants received their certificates of naturalisation.
Rights of Irish citizens
From the ease of travel to business opportunities, becoming an Irish citizen provides a wealth of opportunities for those who wish to expand their horizons. Irish citizens are entitled to:
- Enjoy fundamental rights as set out in the Irish Constitution
- Access free education
- Vote in Irish and European elections
- Be elected to government
- Enjoy diplomatic support outside of Ireland
- Hold dual/multiple citizenships
- Pass Irish citizenship to your children
- Irish citizens can also apply for a European Health Insurance Card. This enables access to state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in an EU member state, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.
Accessibility of Irish passport holders
In addition to the EU/EEA, Ireland holds agreements with other countries, allowing Irish citizens to travel to those destinations without visas. As of 2022, Irish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking the Irish passport 5th as the world’s most powerful passport, placing it ahead of other popular immigration destinations including the US, UK, Australia and Canada, according to the Henley Passport Index.
In the aftermath of Brexit as of 2023, Irish citizens are the only nationality in the world with the right to live and work in both the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Irish passport holders are entitled to:
- Live, work, study and travel in Ireland and the UK, under The Common Travel Area (CTA) long-standing arrangement
- Live, work, study and travel in the EU/EAA
- Have the E-1 and E-2 Treaty Investor visas to the United States
Becoming an Irish citizen through Naturalisation
The rules governing Irish Citizenship are set out in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004. Naturalisation is the process through which a foreign national living in Ireland may apply to become an Irish citizen. To apply for naturalisation in Ireland, you must have been physically resident in Ireland for a certain length of time.
If you wish to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, there are certain conditions that must be met. See below for some of the key conditions.
Age: You must be 18 years or older. If you are under 18, you can apply for naturalisation if you are married.
Character: You must be of good character – the Garda Síochána (Ireland’s national police) will be asked to provide a report about your background. Any criminal record or ongoing proceedings will be taken into consideration by the Minister for Justice and Equality in deciding whether or not to grant naturalisation. You should disclose details of any proceedings, criminal or civil, in the State or elsewhere, in the application form.
Residence in the State: You must have lived in the State for a certain length of time.
The specific requirements are that you:
- can either choose to apply in 5 years, with each year’s absence from Ireland less than 6 weeks
- or you need to reside in the State for at least 1825/1826 days over 9 years with a continuous reckonable residence in the latest 12 months before the application.
Parents: you are entitled to Irish citizenship if one of or both of your parents is a foreign national legally resident in the island of Ireland for 3 out of 4 years immediately prior to your birth.
Children: Children can apply independently for their citizenship when they stay five years or longer in Ireland and are 18 years or older. Their time in schools are also taken into account.
World’s opportunities for Irish citizens and immigrants
In our latest episode of the Immigration Insights video series where we interviewed Henry Au from the Hong Kong Irish Chamber of Commerce, he explained the histrorical links between Ireland and many countries, such as the US, UK, Australia, as well as the legacy connection between Hong Kong and Ireland that has established 200 years ago. During the interview, he talked about many fascinating facts such as the ways that global Irish citizens have brought their culture to the world, and at the same time, Ireland is offering unparalleled opportunities for families and future generations around the world who see Ireland as their future home. Click to view the interview.
In conclusion, the IIP not only offers a secure residency status in Ireland but also provides a simple, safe pathway to Irish citizenship. With the help of the right expert, families can be on their way to experiencing all that this wonderful country has to offer. Whether you are looking to get access to a top education system for children, travel the world, or simply secure a better future for yourself and your family, Irish immigration is the perfect choice for you. So why wait? Start your journey today and take the first step towards a better future.
Note: On Tuesday 14 February, the Irish government announced the closure of the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP). IIP applications via approved projects may be granted a grace period of three months to submit the finalised application. Any interest in IIP is the last chance and would have to apply on an urgent and immediate basis or the programme will no longer be available. Get in touch with us.