Birthright Citizenship in Ireland

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Does Ireland give Birthright Citizenship.

From 2004-2005 the answer is that restricted birthright citizenship came into effect.


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Full birthright citizenship in Ireland effectively ended on 24 June 2004.

Prior to 24 June 2004, almost anyone born inside Ireland, no matter what visa they held, became an Irish Citizen.
An Irish Birth Certificate was enough to get an Irish passport.

The Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland was changed to included this:

It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland.

In 2004, a referendum on the topic of Birthright Citizenship was held with the result being overwhelmingly in favour of restricting Birthright Citizenship.


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  • 79.17% of the Irish voters chose to restrict Birthright Citizenship to children of Citizens.
  • 20.83%  of the Irish voters chose to allow anyone born in Ireland to be automatic Irish Citizens.

 

24 June 2004

The Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland included this:

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, a person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, who does not have, at the time of the birth of that person, at least one parent who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen is not entitled to Irish citizenship or nationality, unless provided for by law.
  2. This section shall not apply to persons born before the date of the enactment of this section.

This was approved by the referendum on 11 June 2004 and signed into law on 24 June 2004.

The law allows those born in Northern Ireland to be treated as Irish too.

1 January 2005

The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004 came into force on 1 January 2005, and made these conditions for Irish Citizenship applicable to births in Ireland and Northern Ireland:

A child born in Ireland is automatically an Irish citizen if at least one of his or her parents is:

  • An Irish citizen (or someone entitled to be an Irish citizen) or
  • A British citizen or
  • A resident of the island of Ireland who is entitled to reside in either the Republic or in Northern Ireland without any time limit on that residence or
  • A legal resident of the island of Ireland for three out of the 4 years preceding the child’s birth (time spent as a student or as an asylum seeker does not count for this purpose).

A child that is not entitled to the citizenship of any other country, may also be granted Irish Citizenship.

What is Birthright Citizenship?

Birthright Citizenship normally refers to the right of anyone born in the country to become a citizen of that country automatically, as it does in the US.

This ended in Ireland on 24 June 2004.

The general rule for Ireland is that anyone born in Ireland, to an Irish Citizen or a Permanent Visa holder, becomes an Irish citizen. This was one effect of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 2004.


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