In my last post I put forward ways that I think my folks, currently living in their home in Normandy, could have some rights if a Brexit should occur. However for our move to France, which due to family issues will have to happen after the referendum, would not only be in jeapordy due to these changes, but our right to go would be in question.
Would we have to go through a visa system?
Ireland And The EU
My research last year threw up a possibility which might ensure that, irrelevant of the outcome of the referendum, my parents and myself can continue to enjoy the rights of European citizens.
Every Irish citizen is also a citizen of the European Union and an Irish passport allows for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Economic Area (EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland. It had occurred to me that this was a possibility because I knew my aunt had a passport for both nations – Irish and British. However my mother didn’t.
The reason for this difference was that my mother had been born in the north of Ireland as her parents, originally from the south, had travelled there to join the war effort. By contrast my aunt had been born in the south, so she was automatically an Irish citizen.
However, since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement anyone born in the island of Ireland is entitled to Irish citizenship dependent on their parents nationality. Her entitlement could affect me, my siblings and our children (my mother’s grandchildren). So I decided to look into it.
Are We Entitled To Irish Citizenship?
If you where born on the island of Ireland before January 1 2005 you are entitled to be an Irish citizen. Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement – those born in Northern Ireland have the right to be citizens of both the United Kingdom and Ireland. To have the right to hold the citizenship of both an individual must – at the time of their birth – have had at least one parent who was Irish, British or who had the right to live permanently in Northern Ireland. So my mother, being born in Northern Ireland to Irish parents, would seemingly be an Irish citizen and as such a member of the EU irrelevant of Brexit.
If someone is born outside of Ireland they may be an Irish citizen by descent if one of their parents was born in Ireland and was an Irish citizen (i.e. not a foreign national who happened to be in Ireland at the time of their birth). My grandfather on my father’s side was from the Republic of Ireland too, so my dad has Irish citizenship too. As my mother is of Irish descent and born in Ireland myself and my siblings would also qualify for Irish citizenship, irrespective of where we are born.
If you were born outside of Ireland to a parent/s who are an Irish citizen/s who were also born outside of Ireland, then you are entitled to become an Irish citizen. For my children and nieces and nephews they could then claim Irish citizenship through me/my siblings. In this case they would need to register in the Foreign Births Register,a link to which is here. Their Irish citizenship is effective from the date of registration – not from the date when They were born.
For a more detailed account that may help with other familial situations, and a chart to clearly explain this, you can go to the website here.
What Does This Mean For An Irish Passport?
Applications for an Irish passport are made using form APS1, for those applying inside of Ireland, or APS2 depending for those outside Ireland at the time of the application and can be obtained from an Irish Embassy or Consulate. The process and requirements are similar to a British passport application and the basic fee for an Irish passport application is €80.
How Would This Affect My Husband And Family?
European free movement law has been made to ensure that the EU citizen has a clear path to realise their freedom of movement rights to another EU country. As restricting the rights of family to accompany the EU citizen will discourage the EU citizen from exercising their free movement right, this would impede their rights. Therefore the non-EU member family have a right to be with their on-the-move EU family members, and have the same rights to work or study or access the resources of the host member state.
Therefore my husband and daughters (although they could claim nationality through me) can;
- get a free visa, to be issued “as soon as possible and on the basis of an accelerated process”, as long as they will be travelling with or joining me.
- They can enter without a required visa as long as they are travelling with the me and are carrying proof of our relationship.
- They are entitled to a Residence Card when the EU citizen is exercising treaty rights of stay.
- After a period in another host member state, family members can move back with their EU citizen family member to the EU citizen’s home country.
During their first 3 months family members who are not EU nationals cannot be required to apply for a residence card confirming their right to live there – although in some countries they may have to report their presence upon arrival.
For us this means that we can go to France, safe in the rights we currently maintain as Eu citizens. Again I’m going to state that I’m not an expert in this, don’t gamble your house on it then sue me! But, could this apply to you too?