Do we need to apply for Irish citizenship for our baby born abroad?

Ask the Experts: We’re due our first baby in New Zealand. How does she get an Irish passport?

Q:

Our first child will be born in New Zealand in March. My wife and I are both Irish and would like our baby to have Irish citizenship, even though we plan to stay here for the foreseeable future. What is the process for registering the birth with the Irish government? How do we apply for her citizenship or get her passport?

A: Sarah Owen, Crosscare Migrant Project

If one or both of you were born in Ireland and you have Irish passports, your child will be an Irish citizen at birth no matter where s/he is born. All you will need to do contact the Consulate General of Ireland in New Zealand (ireland.co.nz) to place an application for an Irish passport following the birth of your baby.

You'll find a list of all the documents you need to submit with the application at dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/top-passport-questions/documentary-requirements-passport-applications under the heading 'First time minor application - Born abroad to a parent born on the island of Ireland'. You will need to submit proof of your (or your partner's) Irish citizenship at the time of the baby's birth, e.g. the parent's original Irish birth certificate or passport.

If however, you and your wife are Irish citizens born outside of Ireland to parents born in Ireland, the process in slightly different. In this case, you would need to register your child's birth on the Foreign Birth Register before you are eligible apply for an Irish passport for her/him. Full details on this are available at dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth. The application to the Foreign Birth Register, which can be done online, costs €278 including fees.

READ MORE

Sarah Owen is the Irish Abroad Networking Officer with Crosscare Migrant Project. They are funded by the Emigrant Support Programme of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide support to Irish people emigrating from and returning to Ireland. Find out more at migrantproject.ie