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House of Commons Approves Bill to Facilitate British Citizenship for Irish Citizens

British citizenship can be obtained after five years of residence.

Dublin: In a significant development, citizens of the Republic of Ireland are poised to attain British citizenship with greater ease, marking a notable shift in residency requirements. Under the proposed legislation championed by Gavin Robinson, interim leader of the DUP, individuals from Ireland will have the opportunity to pursue British citizenship after residing in the UK for a period of five years.

The British Nationality (Irish Citizens) Bill, successfully passed its third reading in the House of Commons with support from both the government and opposition benches. Following this milestone, the bill will undergo scrutiny in the House of Lords before potentially becoming law. This legislative initiative aligns with the provisions outlined in the Good Friday Agreement, ensuring that residents of Northern Ireland retain the option to hold both British and Irish citizenship.

Central to Robinson’s advocacy is the removal of barriers hindering Irish citizens residing in the UK from acquiring British citizenship. According to Robinson, approximately 30,000 Irish citizens residing in Northern Ireland and an additional 200,000 on the UK mainland stand to benefit from this legislation without encountering stringent conditions.

At present, the naturalisation process entails a fee of £1,580, which includes provisions for a citizenship ceremony priced at £80. This legislative endeavour aims to streamline the path to British citizenship for eligible Irish citizens, fostering greater inclusivity and reinforcing the principles of cooperation outlined in the Good Friday Agreement.

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