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Citizenship of children born to non-EU parents in Ireland: Justice Minister seeks permission to ease the rules

DUBLIN: Justice Minister Helen McEntee has declared that she will shorten the time it takes to gain Irish citizenship for children born to non-EU immigrants residing in Ireland.

Currently, a child born here is not eligible for citizenship because their parents are not Irish citizens or did not meet the three-year residency requirement before birth. They must reside in Ireland for four of the total eight years prior to the time of application. In addition, they are required to stay in the country for continuous one year before the date of application.

Helen McEntee said the time required for such children to stay in the country to become Irish citizens would be reduced from five years to three years. The number of years a minor has to live in Ireland will be two years for the previous eight. They must also have one year of continuous residence immediately prior to their citizenship application.

These changes will be contained in the forthcoming Civil Law (Various Provisions) Bill 2021. The general plan for the bill is expected to be submitted to the government in the coming weeks.

The Minister of Justice yesterday sought the Cabinet’s approval to make it easier for those children to obtain citizenship.

Currently, children born to Irish parents who are not Irish citizens must have lived here for at least five years before becoming citizens themselves. Under the new proposal, the number of years will be reduced from five to three.

This amendment only applies to children of parents who are legally residing in Ireland. It also states that it would not expand the categories of children who are eligible to apply for citizenship. There will also be conditions that at least one parent be an Irish citizen or eligible to be an Irish citizen in order for a child born in Ireland to become a citizen.

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