“I was born in the U.S., love my Irish heritage and now have dual citizenship. I am in graduate school in New York and will be finished in a year. I would then like to live in Ireland. Would my degree from the City University of New York (CUNY) be worth anything in Ireland? I know the Irish education standards are much higher than in America. I am obtaining a school counselor degree and wonder if those types of positions are available in Ireland.
“Are there any resources available for me to make the move? Are there restrictions on dual citizenship? Does entry in the Foreign Births Registry afford me all the same rights as a native-born Irish person?”
You are part of a burgeoning trend that has seen a large number of Americans making the move to Ireland in this era of the Celtic Tiger. Lucky for you, the issue of having to obtain a visa/work permit is non-existent as your Irish citizenship will allow you to reside and seek employment anywhere you wish.
Your entry in the Foreign Births Registry, a requirement to obtaining Irish citizenship for those who have an Irish-born grandparent, affords you all the same rights as a native-born Irish person. You could even run for president or prime minister if you wish as the Irish Constitution, unlike that of the U.S., does not stipulate that those office holders have to be native born.
As far as your dual U.S./Irish citizenship, the American government does not encourage its citizens to obtain citizenships of other countries, but there is no law preventing dual citizenship. The government also recognizes that there are instances where U.S. citizens can lay claim to citizenship in another country without even pursing it – for instance, American-born children who have one Irish-born parent are automatically considered to be citizens of Ireland, according to Irish government law.
“While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems which it may cause,” is the official word from the State Department on the matter. One of the problems concerns those requiring security clearance after joining the U.S. military, but obviously, that doesn’t apply in your case.
There are many resources available to help you with your move. Finding employment and housing will rank as your top priorities. As far as the former, there are several Web sites you’ll want to check out, including www.teachingjobs.ie, which offers listings for an array of positions at different levels.
FAS, the employment agency operated by the Irish government, should also be useful, at www.fas.ie. FAS lists job openings in virtually every field, including education. The agency hosted a hugely successful jobs fair in New York last fall in an effort to fill the thousands of positions it has available.
Housing can best be obtained by checking out the classified ads of the largest Irish newspapers, the Irish Times (www.ireland.com), and the Irish Independent (www.independent.ie).
Other useful sights you should visit are www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/moving-country/moving-to-ireland/moving-country/working-in-ireland, another site operated by the Irish government, and www.irelandemb.org/living.html, the Web site of the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Now about that CUNY degree of yours – there’s no reason why it shouldn’t stand to you in Ireland, although you may have to go through some further accreditation there in accordance with Irish procedure.
And though you didn’t ask, I’ve got to take issue with your statement that Irish education standards are much higher than American. Personally, I think that’s a load of you know what!
I spent my junior year of college abroad in Ireland – I won’t say where – and though I had a great time, I was less than impressed with the academic set-up. But that’s another story . . .