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Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

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WCS314
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Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:46 am

Hi All:

I am a dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy. While I do not technically need it, I was wondering if I would be eligible for an Irish passport based on a relative. I would like to pass it down to my kids one day.

My great great great grandmother (G3GM) was born in the United States to parents who immigrated from what was then the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Her husband was also born in Pennsylvania to parents that immigrated from England. G3GM was born in 1851 and died around 1910. I have given up on trying to get a British passport because I think the law has effectively foreclosed it (please tell me if I am wrong!)

The Irish Foreign Births Register was not created until 1956. My understanding is that, to have been eligible for citizenship, somebody along the line would have had to register. My thought was citizenship would have to have transferred in accordance with the law as it existed at the time-- if it transferred at all. There was no formal citizenship law in Ireland until 1922 as I understand it. In that respect, she would have never had an opportunity to make a choice. I am an American attorney and I am wondering if Irish common law at the time followed principles of jus sanguinis.

If anybody has an insight here I would really appreciate it.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by littlerr » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:43 pm

Almost all countries in the world have some sort of jus sanguinis - that's why Ireland has FBR. However, your case is apparently invalid. The FBR is governed by Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, which sets out who are eligible. In order to be eligible for FBR, one of you grandparents needs to be born in Ireland, or one of your parents needs to be an Irish citizen before you are born. Simple as that.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by littlerr » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:53 pm

Regarding any person born before 6th Dec 1922, in order to be recognised as an Irish citizen, among other requirements, they need to be born on the island of Ireland, and physically on the island of Ireland on that day.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:04 pm

So initially I thought you were correct. But I looked at the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1935. Here is what Section 2(4)(a) stated which defines who is a "natural born" Irish citizen:

Every person who is not a citizen of Saorstát Eireann by virtue of Article 3 of the Constitution but was born before the 6th day of December, 1922, either in Ireland or of parents of whom at least one was born in Ireland shall

(a) if such person is at the passing of this Act or becomes thereafter permanently resident in Saorstát Eireann, be deemed to be a natural-born citizen of Saorstát Eireann

So, if I am reading that correctly, my G3GM was, at that time, an Irish citizen. Therefore, her children were also Irish citizens as a matter of law. If I follow the line down further and look at the law, my grandmother may have been an Irish citizen, even if she did not know it. But, she would not have registered.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:03 pm

So here is the timeline prior to passage of the 1935 Act:

1851-G3GM (born to Irish parents; Irish by law?)
1877-G2GF (Irish by law since G3GM was "natural born" Irish?)
1901- GGF (Irish by law since G2GF was "natural born" Irish?)
1931- Grandmother (Irish by Law since GGF was "natural born" Irish?)
1956- Mother (?)

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by littlerr » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:25 pm

Every person who is not a citizen of Saorstát Eireann by virtue of Article 3 of the Constitution but was born before the 6th day of December, 1922, either in Ireland or of parents of whom at least one was born in Ireland shall
Your G3GM is an Irish citizen but your G2GF, GGF and grandmother are not.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by DanaMarie » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:59 pm

Here's a handy flow chart which will help you determine if you are eligible. As littlerr said you are not, but walking through this might help you understand why. Sorry the news isn't better!

http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/ci ... th-descent

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:13 pm

Ok assuming that is correct (and I tend to believe it is), is there any recourse for British citizenship under the Ireland Act of 1949?

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by CR001 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:17 pm

I think your generation line for qualifying for British citizenship is too far removed for you.
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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:22 pm

I would think so too, but I would like to explore. I am doing a cursory wikipedia review, but the text of the statute might open up a loophole.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by DanaMarie » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:15 pm

British visa / citizenship through ancestry is pretty cut and dry.

Your ancestry
You must also show that you have a grandparent born in one of the following circumstances:

in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
on a British-registered ship or aircraft
You can claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent:

were adopted
were born within or outside marriage in the UK
You cannot claim UK ancestry through step-parents.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by CR001 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:18 pm

DanaMarie wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:15 pm
British visa / citizenship through ancestry is pretty cut and dry.

Your ancestry
You must also show that you have a grandparent born in one of the following circumstances:

in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
on a British-registered ship or aircraft
You can claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent:

were adopted
were born within or outside marriage in the UK
You cannot claim UK ancestry through step-parents.
Useful to post the official link when quoting ho.

The above is for an ancestry visa and not for british citizenship.
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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by secret.simon » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:54 pm

To advise further on any claim to British citizenship, you may need to recreate your entire family tree linking you to the UK.

Be aware that before 1983, married women could not transmit their British citizenship/CUKC/British subject status to their children born abroad. Therefore, you will need to rely on a primarily patrilineal connection to the UK for any chance of applying directly for British citizenship.

Also, since 1915, the general rule for transmission of British nationality to children born abroad is that it could only be transmitted one generation for children born outside the UK. See Page 10 of the Historical background information on nationality guidance of the Home Office.
The 1914 Act provided that, from 1 January 1915 onwards, the transmission of British subject status would be restricted to one generation in the legitimate male line.
Further Reading
British Nationality Act 1948 (as enacted)
Immigration Act 1971 (as enacted) - Pay particular attention to Section 2
British Nationality Act 1981
British Nationality: Summary
History of British Nationality Acts

You may also want to see this thread from 2017 about a similar query from Australia.
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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by DanaMarie » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:17 pm

CR001 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:18 pm
DanaMarie wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:15 pm
British visa / citizenship through ancestry is pretty cut and dry.

Your ancestry
You must also show that you have a grandparent born in one of the following circumstances:

in the UK, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
before 31 March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
on a British-registered ship or aircraft
You can claim ancestry if either you or the relevant parent:

were adopted
were born within or outside marriage in the UK
You cannot claim UK ancestry through step-parents.
Useful to post the official link when quoting ho.

The above is for an ancestry visa and not for british citizenship.
Apologies for missing the link! Yes it seems that going the visa route and then IRL based on the ancestry visa route might have more flexible requirements than going straight for citizenship so I guess that's why I was thinking of it.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by trustworthy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:37 pm

WCS314 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:13 pm
Ok assuming that is correct (and I tend to believe it is), is there any recourse for British citizenship under the Ireland Act of 1949?
HY,

I trust that there should be no recourse for British citizenship under the Ireland Act of 1949. British citizenship to children are obtained by birth or by descend. I have 4 children and all of them are British. 3 of them were born out of UK but they acquired British citizenship through descend i.e from British father. One of my child was born in UK therefore he got his citizenship by birth i.e born in UK to a parent who is British. Now I have been told by the UK Immigration, and I also studies that during my training course for becoming an Immigration Adviser, that those children who acquired British citizenship through descend cannot pass on their British citizenship to those children who are born out of UK i.e. their children must be born in UK for the purpose of getting Citizenship. Whilst that child who acquired the citizenship by birth can pass on the British citizenship to his children even they are born out of UK. British citizenship through descent is pass on to only one generation. I hope this will satiny your query.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:16 am

secret.simon wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:54 pm
To advise further on any claim to British citizenship, you may need to recreate your entire family tree linking you to the UK.

Be aware that before 1983, married women could not transmit their British citizenship/CUKC/British subject status to their children born abroad. Therefore, you will need to rely on a primarily patrilineal connection to the UK for any chance of applying directly for British citizenship.

Also, since 1915, the general rule for transmission of British nationality to children born abroad is that it could only be transmitted one generation for children born outside the UK. See Page 10 of the Historical background information on nationality guidance of the Home Office.
The 1914 Act provided that, from 1 January 1915 onwards, the transmission of British subject status would be restricted to one generation in the legitimate male line.
Further Reading
British Nationality Act 1948 (as enacted)
Immigration Act 1971 (as enacted) - Pay particular attention to Section 2
British Nationality Act 1981
British Nationality: Summary
History of British Nationality Acts

You may also want to see this thread from 2017 about a similar query from Australia.
So in that same link it says "The 1922 Act The various British communities abroad thought it wrong to limit transmission by descent to one generation only. The UK and Dominion Governments agreed on indefinite transmission by descent provided that: the child's birth was registered at a British Consulate within one year of birth upon reaching the age of 21, the child expressed the desire to remain British
However, the 1922 Act excluded children born between 1915 and 1922."

I don't think those happened, but theoretically if they did I guess there might be some possibility. I wonder if there are any court cases on it. Seems like a dead end unfortunately.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by secret.simon » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:18 am

WCS314 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:16 am
I wonder if there are any court cases on it.
You could always launch one that would set a precedent.

In my opinion, your bigger challenge would be proving that the descent was in the purely patrilineal line and gathering all the documentation proving your lineage (all the birth certificates and marriage certificates of the relevant ancestors AND the relevant British consulate registration certificates all the way back to the relevant ancestors). Presumably you have already done the former when for applying for the Italian citizenship.

Even if you get the proof adduced to above, there were major changes to British citizenship in 1971-1983, where those Citizens of the United Kngdom and Colonies (as then) who did not have a direct link to the UK (by being born in the UK or by either parent or grandparent being born in the UK) were given British Overseas Citizenship, which did not give the right to reside in the UK and was not transmittable to children.

You are not talking of one dead-end, but multiple dead-ends.

Also keep in mind that even if you do acquire British citizenship via this route, it will be British citizenship by descent and you will not be able to pass it on to your children unless
a) you have lived in the UK for three continuous years before the birth of the child OR
b) you live with the child and the other parent in the UK for three continuous years.
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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:14 am

Right and ultimately if I can’t pass it down, it’s not worth it. My wife’s grandmother was British. I think she would have the same issue too.

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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by CR001 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:39 am

WCS314 wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:14 am
Right and ultimately if I can’t pass it down, it’s not worth it. My wife’s grandmother was British. I think she would have the same issue too.
If the grandmother was UK born, then an ancestry visa is possible.

Depending on the circumstances of the grandmother, your wife could potentially apply for citizenship by double descent based on the Romein Judgement by using form ukf.

Potentially also not able to be passed on to children born outside the UK.
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Re: Possible to Obtain Irish Citizenship

Post by WCS314 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:30 pm

My wife was born in 1985 and her mother is alive (born 1956). Her grandmother is not. I don't think her mother can register and subsequently transfer citizenship to her. I think my wife also falls outside of the Romein judgment. However, I am going to read the opinion of the Supreme Court.

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