Changes to requirements for children to acquire Irish citizenship planned

26 Mar 2021

The Department of Justice has announced that the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 will contain new provisions on the naturalisation of children born in Ireland, whose parents are not Irish citizens and who are not entitled to citizenship at birth.

According to the changes, the number of years a child born in Ireland, who is not entitled to citizenship – because their parents are not Irish citizens, or because their parents do not meet the three year residency requirement prior to the birth – will be required to be resident in the State, will be reduced from five to three years.

In addition, the number of years a minor must be resident in Ireland will be reduced from four to two years out of the previous eight, combined with the requirement to have one year’s continuous residence immediately prior to their citizenship application.

The Department of Justice has also committed to exploring the possibility of TUSLA applying for citizenship on behalf of older children in their care, in light of the particular difficulties they may face.

The General Scheme for the Bill is expected to be submitted to Government in the coming weeks.

For more information on the acquisition of citizenship through naturalisation, read the EMN Ireland report Pathways to citizenship through naturalisation in Ireland. An EU synthesis report on this topic is also available.