Irish citizenship becomes more accessible: updated naturalization rules
Ireland remains an attractive country not only for tourists but also for those who wish to become citizens. Fresh to Sections 15B and 15C provide more freedom for foreigners who wish to acquire Irish or by birth.
Let's look at the key amendments:
- Applicants for Irish citizenship can now spend up to 70 days a year outside the country (previously it was 42 days). This provides more flexibility for personal affairs and travel arrangements. Furthermore, exceptional circumstances such as family commitments, illness, work, study, or humanitarian work entitle the applicant to spend an additional 30 days abroad without prejudice to the applicant's status.
- There is a relaxation for minor children born in Ireland who are not eligible for instant citizenship. The period of continuous residence required for application is now only 3 years instead of the 5 years previously required.
There is also a simplified scheme for adult applicants for citizenship: 5 years of continuous residence in Ireland, including the year prior to application, plus 4 years in the previous eight-year period.
Previously, applicants faced restrictions that affected their ability to leave Ireland (whether for personal or professional reasons).
Overall, the current changes are part of a broader effort to modernize Ireland's immigration system and make it more accessible.