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. Contact us now.

Irish citizens and their global opportunities

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.  

The power of the Irish passport

The power of a nation’s passport is a reflection of the strength of the country – both economically and politically – in relation to other countries.

Since 2006, immigration consultants Henley & Partners has been using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to rank the powerfulness of the world’s passports according to the number of places in the world their holders could travel visa-free. But there is so much more that comes with a powerful passport than simply ease of travel, from the chance to enjoy an improved lifestyle to business opportunities to family protection.

This year’s list of the world’s most powerful passports saw Ireland rank in joint fifth position with Portugal, placing ahead of other popular immigration destinations including the US, UK, Australia and Canada, and offering holders visa-free access to 187 countries.

Benefits of holding an Irish passport 

Not only can Irish passport holders live, work or study in Ireland, where they are guaranteed certain fundamental rights according to the Irish Constitution, including access to free primary and secondary education, the right to vote in Irish elections and be elected to government, and diplomatic support outside the country, but the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement between the UK and Ireland means they also have the right to live, work or study in the UK and to vote and access social welfare benefits and health services there.

With strong ties to Europe and as a member of the EU, Ireland’s citizens can also live, work, or study in any of the 27 EU member states as well as in any European Economic Area (EEA) country (this includes EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). They are also granted the opportunity to vote in European elections and can apply for a European Health Insurance Card enabling access to state-provided healthcare in EU, EEA countries and in Switzerland.

Further afield, Irish passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to the US; only ESTA approval is required. Travel to Australia and Canada is also via an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Another key benefit of the Irish passport is that it can be held along with another passport as Ireland allows dual citizenship. If you become an Irish citizen, you can remain a citizen of another country, which not all nations allow. Neither Singapore nor Japan, for example, which jointly topped the 2022 list of the world’s most powerful passport, allow dual citizenship.

The Irish passport is easy to hold and renew with online services offering fast, secure and convenient renewal. Passport holders can also obtain a passport card, a credit-card sized document that can be used instead of the traditional Irish passport book when travelling in the EU, the EEA and Switzerland. It can be obtained at the same time as the Irish passport (for a higher fee) or can be applied for separately.

Eligibility requirements for citizenship and passport

Those with parents who hold an Irish passport are entitled to Irish citizenship – and in turn, Irish citizenship can be passed to your children. Citizenship is also achieved through naturalization, where a person must have been physically resident in Ireland for a certain length of time. Applicants must have spent five years in Ireland, with each year’s absence not greater than six weeks, or they need to be resident there for at least five years (1825 or 1826 days) over a nine year period with a continuous residency over the 12 months prior to application. Age and character are also taken into account – applicants must be over 18 and of good character – the Garda Síochána, Ireland’s national police, will file a report on the applicant, and background and any criminal record or ongoing proceedings will be considered.

The IIP is a step towards Irish citizenship and an Irish passport. By investing in the IIP, residency can be obtained simply and quickly with a processing time averaging between four and six months. The IIP also allows applicants to add their spouse and any dependent children below the age of 24 to their application. While the IIP does not require long periods of residency for the applicant to maintain their residency (requiring just one day’s stay in Ireland per year), should citizenship and the Irish passport be the goal, the residency requirements for naturalization need to be adhered to. Children who are given a resident status, study in Ireland and reside there for five years can apply for citizenship individually at the age of 18, so parents have greater flexibility to travel and can avoid long-staying resident requirements in the country.


The benefits of the Irish passport are manifold, from being able to settle in Ireland and be guaranteed certain fundamental rights, to the opportunity to travel freely and live, work and study in a number of other countries. These advantages are also greater than some of those offered through citizenship in other popular investment immigration destinations. On top of that, any existing citizenship can be maintained alongside Irish citizenship. Given the ease of gaining residency through the IIP, investment is the first step of an attainable and rewarding journey to Irish citizenship.

For more information on the IIP and applying for it, please contact your Bartra consultant or get in touch.