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New Law Enables the Irish to Become British Citizens

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. New Law Enables the Irish to Become British Citizens

Irish citizens who have lived in the United Kingdom for five years can now register to become British nationals if they meet the requirements

The U.K. government passed a law in its final days that will allow Irish nationals to register as British citizens if they meet the prescribed requirements.

The legislation opens a new route for Irish citizens to acquire British nationality, which Visa Kings Global can help with. We can also help you acquire Irish residency and citizenship by applying for a Critical Skills worker visa in Ireland.

The British Nationality (Irish Citizens) Act 2024 was one of the final pieces of legislation passed by the Conservative Party government before Parliament’s dissolution and inserts a new section into the British Nationality Act 1981. It is a short piece of legislation and when brought into force will entitle Irish nationals who meet the requirements to register as British citizens.

The requirements are that the Irish citizen must have been in the U.K. for at least five years from the date of their application. The person should not have been absent from the U.K. for more than 450 days in that five-year period and for not more than 90 days in the 12-month period leading up to the application.

The person should also not have been in the U.K. in breach of the immigration laws at any time in the five years prior to the application. In special circumstances, the Secretary of State has the power to waive these requirements although this provision is subject to three sections of the Illegal Migration Act 2023.

The legislation also requires an amendment to a section of the British Nationality Act 1981 to add the good character requirement to these applications. Since this is an application for registration and not for naturalisation, there is no requirement for the person to pass the Life in the U.K. test or to present evidence of sufficient knowledge of the English language.

The Act, however, did not come into force with royal assent. It provides for the Home Secretary to bring it into force at a later date. It is therefore uncertain at the moment when the Act will take effect and what it would cost to make the application.

If you have a question or would like our team's assistance with any immigration matters please get in touch through our contact form or by phone. We will be happy to provide the latest information and expert advice relevant to your specific requirements.

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