What is the change? Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has announced that the next citizenship ceremony—a mandatory step preceding naturalization that only occurs a few times per year—will take place May 21 in Killarney.

What does the change mean? Applicants are reminded that in addition to meeting the requisite five years of residency in the previous nine years, they must also have maintained continuous residence in Ireland for the previous one year before the date of their application. Absences during this period may lead to refusal and the need for them to refile and begin the lengthy and expensive process again.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The next citizenship ceremony is May 21.
  • Visas/permits affected: Irish citizenship.
  • Who is affected: Foreign residents seeking to naturalize.
  • Next steps: Applicants should carefully review their travel history and report any absences of one continuous month or more to INIS. Absences from the country of more than six cumulative weeks in the previous year before the filing date may prompt queries on the application.  If these queries are not adequately addressed, the application may be rejected.

Background: The citizenship ceremony is where applicants declare their loyalty to Ireland and receive their certificate of naturalization. According to recent reports, applicants have been denied citizenship if they have been absent for six or more weeks without adequate explanation during the one year before the date of the application. In general, all absences of more than one month must be reported to INIS; if an applicant has failed to report such an absence, a later application for naturalization may be queried and in certain cases can be rejected.

BAL Analysis: Naturalization applicants will receive an invitation from INIS at least four to five weeks before the May 21 citizenship ceremony. In the meantime, applicants should be conscious of any relevant absences and the need to explain these to the satisfaction of the authorities. Naturalization is a lengthy and expensive process In Ireland, so applicants are advised to seek professional support with the application.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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