August 8, 2007

Irish Grandparent? Irish Passport

Many people who can document that one of their grandparents was an Irish citizen, can apply for Irish citzenship via entry in the Register of Foreign Births, and then apply for an Irish passport. Children of those foreign-born Irish citizens with Irish grandparents are eligible too, as long as the child was born after the parent's citizenship was recorded by an Irish Consulate.

Before applying, I investigated and verified that Ireland had no military draft law and did not tax citizens living abroad, thereby making it safe to proceed. What were the advantages beyond maintaining a link to our ancestral homeland being a conversation piece? The idea of having an EU passport that allowed me to travel and work in the, now 27, nations of the EU without having to hassle with visas and work permits that are usually required to travel, live or work in a foreign nation was appealing. Also, being familiar with the bloody history of the 20th century as well as having worked in both aviation and IT, two areas where backup systems are standard operating procedure, I felt that a costless backup citizenship might make sense for my descendants. The biggest reason was probably the potential advantages it would offer to my children and me in the global economy which, even then was the apparent trend for the future.

U.S. citizens can become dual citizens as long as the alternate citizenship is granted after their U.S. citizenship, as the U.S. citizenship process requires an applicant to renounce all other citizenships. Ireland, by contrast, does not require an applicant to renounce other citizenships.

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