Becoming an Irish citizen through marriage or civil partnership
If you are a foreign national who is the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen, you may be able to become an Irish citizen if you meet certain conditions. Foreign nationals married to or in a civil partnership with Irish citizens can apply for citizenship through naturalisation. The application process is the same as for foreign nationals who are not the spouses or civil partners of Irish citizens but there are more favourable residence requirements. The Minister for Justice and Equality has discretion to grant or refuse your application.
You must use the current versions of the application forms on the INIS website - see 'How to apply' below. There is an application fee of €175 - see 'Rates' below.
Public Services Card: From 19 September 2016, if you are applying for naturalisation and you are resident in the State, you must be registered with the Department of Social Protection for a Public Services Card.
If you are the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen who is applying for Irish citizenship, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must be married to or in a recognised civil partnership* with the Irish citizen for at least 3 years
- You must have had a period of 1 year's continuous reckonable residence - see below - in the island of Ireland immediately before the date of your application, and during the 4 years preceding that, have had a total reckonable residence in the island of Ireland amounting to 2 years. Altogether you must have a total of 3 years reckonable residence out of the last 5 years.
- Your marriage or civil partnership must be recognised as valid under Irish law
- You and your spouse or civil partner must be living together as husband and wife or civil partners
- You must be of full age, good character and intend to continue to live on the island of Ireland
- You must have made a declaration of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State.
*Foreign relationships registered outside Ireland were only recognised by the State on 13 January 2011 when the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 came into force. However, under the Marriage Act 2015, it is now possible for same-sex couples to become legally married and you can no longer register a civil partnership in Ireland. Partnerships registered abroad after 16 November 2015 are not recognised as civil partnerships in Ireland.
Certain periods of residence do not count for the purpose of reckonable residence, for example, periods when you did not have permission to remain in Ireland, or you had permission that was for study purposes or while having a claim for asylum examined. You can use the online residency calculator on the INIS website to check if you meet the naturalisation residency conditions.
If you have previously been married and divorced
Processing your application for citizenship
You will be informed by registered post when the decision is made on your application. Generally most applications will be processed within 6 months.
If your application is approved, the letter notifying you of this decision will contain instructions regarding the final procedures that must be completed before the certificate of naturalisation can be issued. When you submit the required documentation and certification fee, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony at which you will be granted your certificate of naturalisation.
You can apply for an Irish passport following the confirmation of your Irish citizenship and the receipt of your citizenship certificate.
The fee for an application for naturalisation is €175
When the certificate of naturalisation is issued you pay a fee of €950.
How to apply
The supporting documents required include evidence of your identity and nationality (birth certificate and passport). From 19 September 2016, if you are applying for naturalisation and you are resident in the State, you must be registered for a Public Services Card.
You will also need to produce documents relating to your status and the duration of your stay in the State, for example, your Certificate of Registration, declaration of refugee status.
Spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen
As your application for naturalisation is based on your marriage to or civil partnership with an Irish citizen, you will need to produce the documents needed to show your spouse’s or civil partner's status and evidence of your marital or civil partner status (for example, birth or naturalisation certificate of Irish spouse, marriage or civil registration certificate). In the application form your spouse or civil partner must complete a sworn affidavit that you are living together as husband and wife or civil partners.
As well as these documents, you must produce documents relevant to your financial and employment status (payslips for the previous 3 months, bank statements for the previous 3 months) and confirmation of your income tax situation.
You should only send copies of the above documents with your application form. The copies of birth, marriage, civil partnership and divorce certificates must be certified documents. You will be expected to produce the original documents for inspection at a later stage during the examination of your application.
The information in your application form will be checked against the supporting documentation and any inaccuracy will lead to delays in ruling on your application.
You should not sign the form until you are in the presence of the person who
must witness you signing it. The application form contains instructions about
who is eligible to be a witness.
Where to apply
New applications should be sent to Citizenship Applications, Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, PO Box 73, Tipperary Town. Note: this address is only for lodging new adult applications. All other citizenship correspondence should be sent to: