At a Glance
The High Court of Ireland has ruled that foreign nationals cannot be granted Irish citizenship by naturalization if they have left Ireland for even one day in the 12 months prior to their application. The ruling could be overturned on appeal, but this might be a lengthy process. Further, there is no confirmation at this stage as to whether the parties will appeal the judgment. Applicants with pending applications for Irish citizenship might have their applications refused if they have spent one day or more outside Ireland in the 12 months prior to their application. Pending applications might alternatively be put on hold if an appeal is submitted or if emergency legislation is considered. The government has not yet indicated how it intends to handle pending applications. Applicants for Irish citizenship based on Irish ancestry (Foreign Birth Registration) are not affected by this ruling as they are not required to prove residence. The situation
The High Court of Ireland has unexpectedly ruled that foreign nationals applying for naturalization cannot be granted Irish citizenship by naturalization if they have left Ireland for even one day in the previous 12 months before they apply.
A closer look
Citizenship rule. Foreign nationals applying for naturalization as Irish citizens must demonstrate that they have resided in Ireland for at least five of the past nine years, reduced to three out of the last five years if they are married to an Irish national. This must include one year of continuous residence in Ireland in the 12 months prior to the date of application. Previous rule for residence outside Ireland. Previously, citizenship applicants could leave Ireland for up to six weeks in the year preceding the application, or longer in some exceptional circumstances. Impact for foreign nationals
Citizenship by naturalization applicants. Foreign nationals applying for Irish citizenship will not be granted citizenship if they have spent even one day outside Ireland in the 12 months preceding the date of their application. Applicants who live near the border with Northern Ireland might find it impossible to meet the requirement. Pending applications. Applicants with pending applications for Irish citizenship might have their applications refused if they have spent one day outside of Ireland in the 12 months prior to...