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Can I keep my Irish passport if I take American citizenship?

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Question

I am currently going through the green card immigration process and have maintained that I will not be going so far as to get U.S. citizenship as I want my children (God willing) to have both Irish and American citizens as parents so they have more options as far as where they want to live and work around the globe. Irish people have access to the EU nations to live and work with more ease.

Can I keep my Irish passport too if I decide to go for U.S. citizenship in the future? Am I misinformed as far as my future children's options?

Answer

If the only thing holding you back from eventually pursuing U.S. citizenship is worry over your future kids, rest assured you've got nothing to fret about. Your children will automatically be Irish citizens at the time of their birth, even if they are born in the U.S.

Irish citizenship law is very clear -- those born outside of Ireland who have at least one native Irish parent are also considered to be Irish citizens at birth. There is nothing they have to do formalize this fact, other than show the documentation (primarily birth and marriage certificates) required to obtain an Irish passport, if they so choose.

We've said it before umpteen times in this space and we'll say it again -- becoming a naturalized American does not negatively impact one's Irish citizenship. This is a myth that just refuses to die!

Your children, if they ever wish to live/work in Ireland or anywhere else in the EU, will have the same rights as a native, once they have an Irish passport. You can contact your local Irish consular office immediately after they are born to start the process. Visit www.irelandemb.org for a full list of offices in the U.S.

Your Irish passport will not be taken from you if you become a U.S. citizen. But an American passport should be used for outbound and inbound U.S. travel.

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