Literally hundreds of thousands of British people have Irish grandparents or Irish parents. If you are fortunate enough to be one of those people, you should use this opportunity now to ensure that you remain an EU National after Brexit.

Here is a guide to how you can ‘hedge your bets’ by getting an Irish passport with full EU privileges for you and your children/descendants going forward…without losing any of your current UK citizenship or residency entitlements that you currently hold.


As there is often much confusion regarding the pathway of acquiring Irish citizenship by descent, we thought it would be helpful to outline the various application options for potential applicants as follows:


Qualifying Through Your Irish Ancestery

You can retain your EU freedoms by doing just that and avoid the potential travel impacts of Brexit!

Sinnott Solicitors deals with all types of Naturalisation and Citizenship applications. Recently due to the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union, we have been receiving an increase in business from British people seeking to attain an EU passport through descent and foreign birth registration in order to retain EU privileges after Brexit.

Sinnott Solicitors provides full advice and assistance for applicants who wish to register their birth through the Foreign Births Register in order to acquire citizenship by descent.

Were You Born Outside Of Ireland To Irish Parents Or Irish Grandparents?

  • If you were born outside of Ireland to an Irish parent, you automatically qualify.
  • If you are born outside of Ireland to a parent who was also born outside of Ireland who you derive Irish citizenship from you are entitled to qualify but you have to register through the Foreign Births Register.
  • If you were born outside of Ireland but have a grandparent who is an Irish citizen and was born in Ireland you are also simialrly entitled but have to register with the Foreign Births Register.
  • If both your grandparent(s) and parent(s) where born outside of Ireland you may qualify if you register with the Foreign Births Register. However your parent that you derive Irish nationality from must have registered themselves before you were born.
  • If you had a parent who was an Irish national but was deceased at the time of your birth you can still apply.
  • You also derive citizenship through an Irish parent whether or not your parents were married to each other at the time of your birth.


Were You Born In Ireland?

If you were born in Ireland before the 1st of January 2005, you have obvious full entitlements.

Do You Have Irish Parents?

If you were born in Ireland after the 1st of January 2005 and have parent(s) who are Irish citizens you are then you also qualify. However in some circumstances people born in Ireland have to claim their rights.

Qualifying Through Foreign National Parents

A child who has a British parent who is entitled to live in Northern Ireland or the Irish State without restriction is entitled to apply. A child born in Ireland to a parent granted refugee status is also similarly entitled.

A child born of other foreign national parents in the island of Ireland is not automatically entitled to an Irish passport. Their parents must prove they have a genuine link to Ireland. This will be evidenced by living in Ireland for at least 3 years prior to the birth of the child. Once proven, their child will be entitled and they can apply for an Irish passport for their child.

Claiming via Your Other Irish Ancestors

Unless at least one parent or an Irish born grandparent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, you cannot claim same on the basis of extended previous ancestry (that is, ancestors other than your parents or grandparents). In addition, you cannot claim on the basis that a relation such as a cousin, aunt or uncle was an Irish citizen if none of your parents or grandparents had the same status at the time of your birth.

Process Of Claiming Through Descent

Before applying you must have your birth registered at the Foreign Births Register. If you are entitled to register, your Irish citizenship is effective from the day you register, not from the date when you were born.

Foreign Births Register

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade maintains the Foreign Births Register where people who are eligible can apply.

Getting A Passport For An Irish-born Child Of Foreign National Parents

Residence in Ireland: Non-EEA nationals must provide evidence of residence. Their passport application must include a letter listing their passport’s immigration stamps which detail their residence in Ireland and their Certificate of Registration.

Residence in Northern Ireland: Non-EEA nationals who have permission to live in the UK must apply to the Department of Justice and Equality for a certificate of nationality for their Irish born child. The letter of application must be accompanied by a completed declaration form C (pdf) together with 2 documents for each of the 3 years giving proof of address in Northern Ireland such as driving license and utility bills. When the certificate of Irish nationality for the child has been received by the parents, they may apply for an Irish passport for the child, using the certificate of nationality as proof of Irish citizenship.


Advantages of an Irish Passport and ‘Remaining in the EU as a Person’

  • You will remain an EU Citizen after Brexit

  • You can move freely through the 28 EU Member States to live and work and travel

  • Your children will become Irish/EU Citizens in future and will have all of the benefits of EU entitlements whether it be the freedom to travel, Education or the right to live and work  throughout the EU

  • You can secure your children’s future by ensuring that they gain access to Education throughout Europe in future without paying enormous University and Third level fees that would apply to non-EU individuals.

  • Avoid the appalling consequences of Brexit for those who are about to lose their EU rights, those consequences too numerous to mention here

  • Why not avoid the non-EU queue zones at airports throughout Europe! Let’s face it; there will be millions of UK folk clogging up those queues in future!

How To Apply

Sinnott Solicitors can advise you on all aspects of making your claim through descent.

It is one of the most effective ways of becoming you as a person staying in the EU thereby avoiding the potential pitfalls of Brexit.

Sinnott Solicitors can assist you with your application and required supporting documentation to the Irish embassy or consulate for the country in which you live.

Once the process is completed, you will be provided with a certificate confirming your entry in the Irish Register of Foreign Births. The Irish passport applications cannot be accepted at the same time as citizenship applications.