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Ireland | Court of Appeal Overturns High Court Findings

November 20, 2019

As previously reported, on July 17, 2019, the Irish High Court ruled that a person applying to become a naturalized Irish citizen must have one year of “unbroken” residence in Ireland immediately before filing the naturalization application. The High Court interpreted the “continuous residence” requirement of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act to mean “unbroken,” with no absences for an entire year immediately before the date of their application.

Referring to the High Court ruling as giving “rise to an absurdity,” the Court of Appeals overturned the ruling on November 14. The judges said the High Court erred in how it interpreted the “continuous residence” requirement, by introducing an obstacle that applicants would find “impossible to meet.”

Nevertheless, Justice Máire Whelan stressed the “significant importance” attached to physical presence in Ireland during the year preceding the date of the application. However, “continuous residence” does not require an uninterrupted presence in Ireland for an entire year prior to applying for citizenship.