St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and if you are one of the 34 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry, you may feel an ancestral tug from the Land of Saints and Scholars. What better time than now to delve into your Irish genealogy. Considering RecordClick’s response from individuals tracing ancestry and seeking Irish dual citizenship by descent, it’s clear that the spirit and blood of Ireland is coursing through the veins of many U.S. citizens.
In a country of only 4.5 million people, Ireland has come together as a country to call home the descendants of its Diaspora. Different Irish genealogy organizations are spearheading projects to draw Irish descendants back to the island. The Ireland Reaching Out Program (aka Ireland XO) started as an Irish genealogy pilot project a couple of years ago, and is now the driving force behind calling Ireland’s ancestors home. The influx of visitors and dual citizens are expected to increase tourism and boost the Irish economy.
If you are still wrestling with the idea of Irish dual citizenship by descent, I welcome you to read my blogs on the subject:
- Jus Sanguinis or Jus Soli – Are You a Candidate for Dual Citizenship?
- Ireland Reaching Out – Irish Genealogy in Reverse Is No Blarney
- Erin Genealogy Go Bragh – Irish Ancestry Research Forever
Once you decide to expand your geographical borders by tracing ancestry, but before you start the process of applying for Irish citizenship by descent, you will want to check with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Embassy of Ireland website for a list of U.S. Consulates to find out which one oversees your state.
For the purposes of this article, I have referenced “Instructions and Required Documents for Citizenship by Descent (Foreign Births Registration)” located on the Consulate General of Ireland / Boston website for the documentation needed to apply for dual citizenship by descent.
If you were not born on Irish soil and choose to find your ancestors and establish dual citizenship through descent, then you must first apply for Foreign Births Registration (FBR). You can now submit an FBR form (known as ‘Náisiún) online. In addition to completing an FB1A application and having it witnessed, you must also produce the following documentation if you are applying for dual citizenship by descent.
1. Irish Birth Certificate (full, long-form).
2. Marriage Certificate. Must include bride and groom’s details (full names, places of birth, ages/ dates of birth, parents’ names and, if possible, parents’ places of birth) along with the date and location of the ceremony.
3. Death Certificate. If grandparent is still living, send an authenticated copy of grandparent’s current Irish or U.S. passport or their original U.S. Naturalization Certificate. The authenticated copy of the passport may be signed by your witness or notarized.
4. Birth Certificate (full, long-form) showing grandparents’ names, places of birth, and ages at the time of birth.
5. Marriage Certificate. Must include bride and groom’s details (full names, places of birth, ages/ dates of birth, parents’ names and, if possible, parents’ places of birth) along with the date and location of the ceremony.
6. Death Certificate. If parent is living, send an authenticated copy of parent’s current ID (current driver’s license or passport). This authenticated copy may be signed by your witness or notarized. Do not mail original ID.
7. Foreign Births Registration application (completed and witnessed).
8. Two recent identical passport type photos, which must both be signed and dated on the reverse by the witness who completes Section E.
9. Birth Certificate (full, long-form) showing parents’ names, places of birth, and ages at the time of birth.
10. Change of name documentation (if applicable). This may include a marriage certificate in the case the name was changed at the time of marriage, or a legal name change document issued by the courts.
11. Authenticated copy of your valid photo ID (state driver’s license or U.S. passport only). Photo ID must be submitted for all applicants regardless of age. This authenticated copy may be signed by your witness or notarized. Do not mail original ID.
12. Two original proofs of residence at the address listed on the application. Acceptable proofs of residence include utility bills (gas, electric, cable, telephone, cell phone, etc.), credit card bills, or bank statements. For applicants under the age of 18, the proofs of residence may list the parents’ names in lieu of the applicant’s. Driver’s licenses are not acceptable proof of residence; they are only accepted as photo ID.
And lastly, you will need to include the appropriate fee. You can find the most current fees and payment options on the FBR website. Bear in mind, the process for Irish dual citizenship can take up to a year and a half.
- The Consulate General of Ireland stresses that all certificates submitted must be original civil certificates (i.e., state issued, state certified copies bearing the raised seal of the issuing authority).
- All supporting documents must be original or notarized copies.
- Do not send original passports, driver’s licenses, or important IDs (send as notarized copies).
Key Websites for Helpful Information
- Embassy of Ireland / USA
- Foreign Birth Registration
- Ireland Department of Justice & Equality
- Irish Department of Foreign Affairs
- Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act
- Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service includes information on visas, immigration, citizenship, asylum, and repatriation
If you are saying to yourself, That’s a lot of documentation! You’re right. And because of the gravity of the situation, the documentation has to be official and spot-on. No doubt, there are some genealogical researchers our there who are champing at the bit to find your ancestors on your own. Those of you who are weekend genealogists may be prepared for part of the ancestor search needed, while others of you are best served by contacting a genealogy ancestry service like RecordClick, where expert genealogists in Irish dual citizenship are available for consultation.
[box] Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out, won’t you take my hand
I’m coming home Ireland.
~ Ireland – lyrics by Garth Brooks[/box]
Photo by Nancy Siddons-Daniels 2013