Children born in Ireland, who do not have Irish parents will be able to access Irish
citizenship sooner under incoming proposals by the Government.
This new legislation will be introduced in the form of a bill, as a result of discussions
between Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Labour Senator Ivana Bacik.
The bill, entitled the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2021 is set to reduce the
amount of time required by children to be resident in Ireland, in order to qualify for
citizenship from five to three years. While the years a minor is required to be resident in
Ireland, will be reduced from four to two years out of the previous eight, with an
additional requirement of one year’s continuous residence immediately prior to a
Such introductions the Minister McEntee has stated will “provide comfort and
reassurance to many families across the country”, and is being delivered as part of the
Justice Plan 2021. The Minister is hoping to implement this proposal as soon as possible.
The Minister noted, that it provides an added level of security for children who’s parents
fall out of immigration permission, as the child will separately be entitled Irish
citizenship, and as such will be an EU citizen, and have a right to remain in the State
with non-EEA national guardian or parent.
Although, she has noted that this change in the law only applied to children of parents
who are legally resident in Ireland. The Minister will also be working with Children’s
Minister Roderic O’Gorman to explore the possibility of Tusla applying for citizenship for
children that are in care.