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According to the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Ireland, a non-Irish citizen born outside of Ireland is eligible to become an Irish citizen if:

  1. One of your grandparents was born in Ireland, or;
  2. One of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, even though they were not born in Ireland.

In my case, I have a grandparent born in Ireland, while my parent was born in the United States. Using the eligibility criteria above, it seems that I should be entitled to Irish citizenship. However, when attempting to apply, the third question on the portal asks, "Please indicate the citizenship category to which the applicant's PARENT belongs," with the following options:

  • Born abroad to a parent born in Ireland
  • Naturalisation
  • Post nuptial declaration
  • Foreign births registration
  • Born abroad and adopted by an Irish citizen

Clearly none of these options are specific to the case of someone with only an Irish-born grandparent, as stated in the eligibility criteria.

Is a parent required to be registered through the foreign births registry in order to gain citizenship through descent via an Irish born grandparent?

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The question asks which category your parent belongs to, not which category you belong to. If you have a grandparent born in Ireland, that means you have a parent who was "Born abroad to a parent born in Ireland". Therefore, that's the option you should select.

No. Your parent does not need to be registered through the Foreign Births Registry. Your parent (who has a parent born in Ireland) was automatically an Irish citizen from birth.

On the other hand, since you do not have a parent born in Ireland, you would only be an Irish citizen from the moment of registering through the Foreign Births Registry. Therefore, only your children who were born after you registered are eligible to register for Irish citizenship (and if they do so, they would select that their parent (you) got Irish citizenship through "Foreign births registration").

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  • I see! This makes sense. I was confused by the note included below the "Please indicate the citizenship category to which the applicant's PARENT belongs" question which says, "Important: Please note that this question relates to how the PARENT acquired Irish citizenship." But they should automatically be an Irish citizen! Great! Commented Nov 9, 2022 at 21:17

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