As we all know, there are many uncertainties surrounding Britain’s extraction from the EU. Unfortunately, it is now clear that Brexit will really happen, however many of us straddling life in France and the UK hoped it wouldn’t. This will have an effect on free movement in the EU for those of us holding a UK passport. We still don’t know whether having a French carte de séjour will mean we have to queue up in the ‘non-EU’ queue at passport control in airports and ferry ports.
Fortunately for some, there is a way to remain European and hence facilitate residing and traveling within Europe. If you are directly descended from an EU citizen, you can possibly claim citizenship of your ascendant’s country. Many UK passport-holders are applying for Irish passports through antecedent rules, for example. Each country’s rules are slightly different, but as Ireland tops the list of countries to whom UK citizens are applying for EU passports, here is some information about how to apply for an Irish passport.
Are you eligible?
Firstly, thanks to the www.citizensinformation.ie website for this fabulous table, outlining eligibility:
|If you are:||Then you are:|
|A||Born in the island of Ireland on or before 31 December 2004||Entitled to Irish citizenship or you are an Irish citizen|
|B||Born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005||Entitled to Irish citizenship if one or both of your parents:
* Is Irish
* Is British or entitled to live in Northern Ireland or the Irish State without restriction on their residency
* Is a foreign national legally resident in the island of Ireland for 3 out of 4 years immediately prior to your birth
* Has been granted refugee status in Ireland
|C||Child of A, born outside the island of Ireland||An Irish citizen|
|D||Child of C and a grandchild of A, born outside the island of Ireland||Entitled to Irish citizenship, but you must first register in the Foreign Births Register|
|E||Child of D and a great-grandchild of A, born outside the island of Ireland||Entitled to Irish citizenship, by having your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register, but only if your parent D had registered by the time of your birth|
How to register on the Foreign Births Register in Ireland
You will need an email address to register, as well as the following documents:
- Original civil birth certificate (showing parents’ details)
- Marriage certificate or change of name document (if applicable)
- Certified photocopy of current state-issued identification (passport, drivers licence, national identity card)
- Two proofs of address (not photocopies). If you are applying on behalf of a child, you must also include a letter from the child’s school or doctor
- Four photographs
- If you are applying on behalf of a child, but you are not the parent of the child, you must include proof of guardianship
Naturally, you’ll also have to provide documents relating to the Irish citizen relative you are basing your application on (your grandparent or parent). If you are applying through an Irish citizen grandparent, then you’ll need to supply the following for both your grandparent AND your connected parent:
- Original civil birth certificate
- Original marriage certificate or change of name document (if applicable)
- Certified photocopy of current state-issued identification (passport, drivers licence, national identity card) or certified copy of death certificate if they are deceased
These details are for Irish BORN citizens. See this website for other cases (eg naturalization of a parent, adoption, etc).
Here is the link where you need to complete your application for Irish citizenship:
Complete the form, then print and sign.
Pay the fee online after completing the form:
278€ per adult and 158€ per child.
Witnessing and certification of your application pack elements
You’ll need someone who knows you and is currently practicing in one of the following professions to witness your application form and photographs:
- Police Officer
- School Principal / Vice Principal / Teacher / School Secretary / Pre-school Manager / Montessori Teacher / Lecturer
- Member of Clergy
- Medical Doctor
- Speech Therapist
- Notary Public / Commissioner for Oaths
- Peace Commissioner
- Bank Manager / Assistant Bank Manager / Credit Union Manager / Assistant Manager
- Elected Public Representative
- Chartered Engineer
You’ll need your official documents certified by an official entity, for example:
- Organisation or authority that issued your original document
- Commissioner of Oaths
- Post Office Service
They will know how to correctly certify your documents, but if you need the full information, check this page.
Then you are ready to post off your application. Processing times are around 6 months, but complex or incomplete applications can take up to 12 months, so check everything thoroughly before sending off.
Please note that I have outlined the process through reference to the official Irish websites mentioned in this blog article, and that full details are available on the links included. This is just to give you an outline of what is needed so you can decide whether a) you have the right to apply for an Irish passport, and b) whether you have the stamina to do this, as well as keep up with all your French admin paperwork!
Of course, if you have a parent or grandparent with nationality from another EU country, then you can apply for citizenship through their lineage.
If you need any assistance with immigration and residency issues in France, Renestance is here to help. You can contact us and we’ll get right back to you!
Header picture by Sarah-Rose – (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Nicole is a bilingual Brit from Cambridge who has been living in the Languedoc since 2002 and is Renestance's Administrative Assistance Coordinator. She knows how to get things done and can find the key contacts, having worked in real estate, managed two businesses of her own, and started a large social group for English-speakers in the area.
All articles by: Nicole Hammond