Please help me register my daughters as Irish citizens
February 7, 2017 9:57 AM   Subscribe

My daughters were born in the US to one American parent and one Irish parent who was born in Ireland. We all currently live in the US, and the Irish parent is a permanent resident of the US. I want the children to be registered as Irish citizens so that they will have dual citizenship, but I keep getting stuck on the application process.

My understanding is that the very first step is to add them to the Registry of Foreign Births, which you can do here: Registering a Foreign Birth

The form itself is pretty straightforward, but then there is a crazy long list of supporting documentation required:

Documents relating to the Minor (Originals must be submitted):
1. Full civil birth certificate (giving details of parents)
2. Notarised copy of current passport or identity document
3. Letter from school of attendance or a letter from the child's doctor or health centre showing proof of residence

Documents relating to the Parent linking to the Grandparent born in Ireland (Originals must be submitted):
4. Full civil birth certificate giving details of parents.
5. Civil marriage certificate(s) - Church certificates are NOT acceptable
6. If living, certified or notarised copy of current passport or identity document, otherwise death certificate
7. 3 proofs of address i.e. utility bills, bank statement etc.

Documents relating to the Grandparent born in Ireland (Originals must be submitted):
8. Full civil Irish birth certificate (giving details of parents) if born after 1864. A baptism certificate is accepted only if born before 1864, or, if later, with a search certificate from the Irish Registrar of Births showing that no civil birth registration exists.
9. Civil marriage certificate(s) - Church certificates are NOT acceptable
10. If living, certified or notarised copy of current passport, identity document, or pension book, otherwise a death certificate.


Here are my specific questions about these documents:

Doc #3: This is my most important question because the way it is worded makes me think this might be a form for people who currently live in Ireland, since it is talking about proof of residence. Otherwise why would they even need to prove residence since it would be irrelevant. Do I even have the right form here? I looked through the FAQ and couldn't find any info about whether an Irish address is required.

Docs #4, #8: I only have one original copy of each of these available to use. How do I do both children with only one copy of each? Can I put them all together in one envelope so that both applications can use the same copy of these documents? Is there a way to go to an embassy near us (San Francisco area) and show all our documents in person instead?

Docs #2, #6, #10: Notarized in what way? Do I need to make up some kind of a statement saying this is really their passport, then sign the statement and get that notarized? I have only ever notarized signed things so I don't quite understand what this means. Does the notary put the passport owner's thumbprint in their notary book or something? It says these copies "can be certified by a notary public or the person that is witnessing your application." I am wondering if notarized means something different in Ireland than it does in the US.

Doc #9: So I really need a copy of my husband's parents' marriage certificate? An original copy? How is this even relevant, omg the complexity of this application is making me completely crazy.


In addition to these questions, the idea of having to send in all of these original documents and hope that they are willing to send them back to our American address is really stressing me out. And it's going to be about $350 in fees, so I want to make sure I do it right and it works the first time.

Thanks so much to anyone who has any advice!
posted by insoluble uncertainty to Law & Government (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is the Irish parent an Irish citizen? If so, I don't think you need to do this.

From the FAQ:

If you were born outside the island of Ireland and if either of your parents was an Irish citizen born on the island of Ireland, then you are an Irish citizen and entitled to apply for an Irish Passport under Irish law, irrespective of where you reside. You do not need to apply for entry on to the Foreign Births Register in this case.

posted by Polychrome at 10:08 AM on February 7 [2 favorites]


Yes! Thank you so much Polychrome! That is the best possible answer and I am so thrilled that I don't have to do all of this.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 10:11 AM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Do you live anywhere near an Irish embassy/consulate? I just helped a friend through this process, the Austrian version, and it was ultimately way more helpful to go to the consulate and talk to an official to get these little questions answered.

For the notary stuff -- depending on what they tell you, you may need to find an apostille, which is sort of an international version of a notary.

For the original documents -- when we were finally ready to submit, we dealt with the consular officials, and then the documents went to Austria via their diplomatic pouch. In theory, the approval documents are going to come back the same way, which makes this just a bit safer than trusting your originals to the regular mail.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:13 AM on February 7


Based on the information from Polychrome, I think all you probably have to do is apply for Irish passports for your kids. Here is the list of Irish consulates in the U.S.

According to the Boston consulate's office:

If you were born outside Ireland to a parent born on the island of Ireland, you are automatically considered to be an Irish citizen. You are, therefore, entitled to apply for an Irish passport (you do not need to apply for Irish citizenship). The required documentation is as follows:

Your original long-form birth certificate and your original civil marriage certificate (if you've changed your surname).

The original long-form birth certificate and civil marriage certificate of your Irish-born parent.

Your current photo ID and 2 proofs of name and address.

posted by colfax at 10:19 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


My kid was born in the same position as yours and I simply applied for the passport at the Boston consulate.

Your children already are Irish citizens and there is a close-to-zero chance that the Irish legislature is going to strip their citizenship from them. But if you do feel like getting the passports for the sake of reassurance or symbolism, then it's not difficult.

Bear in mind that the photo size is different from US passport photos. I had my child's done at a drugstore near the consulate where the employees were aware of the different sizing.

The kids will need photo ID--my only option was to get my kid a US passport first.
posted by EtTuHealy at 4:32 PM on February 7


Looks like you already have your answer, but I'll just add [in case anyone else is in a similar position] that I've found the people at the Irish consulate super helpful & willing to answer questions, so a phone call is well worthwhile.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 6:33 PM on February 7


Notarized in what way? Do I need to make up some kind of a statement saying this is really their passport, then sign the statement and get that notarized? I have only ever notarized signed things so I don't quite understand what this means.

Looks like you already have your answer, but in case it's useful to anyone else -- in the US, to get a notarized copy you take the thing to a notary (the same kind of notary who can do signatures, this service is available at many banks and through independent notary businesses), the notary makes a photocopy and marks it with their seal or stamp that it is a "notarized copy". The only difficulty is that a photocopier needs to be available, so if you are calling a mobile notary make sure they know you need a notarized copy.
posted by yohko at 10:23 AM on February 8


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