United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Passport & Nationality - Ireland and Northern Ireland (Birth in Foreign Country)

Northern Ireland is an anomaly in both Irish and British nationality law. Both countries recognise the territory as falling within their own jurisdiction and sovereignty for the purposes of granting nationality. So where you have a grandparent born in "Ireland", it is important that you are clear as to which part of Ireland they were born in:

  • Northern Ireland is recognised by both both Ireland and the UK for nationality purposes; AND
  • The Republic of Ireland (the southern part of the island) is not recognised by the UK for British nationality purposes (but only in exceptional/rare circumstances).

A grandparent's birth in Northern Ireland will result in:

  • a claim to Irish nationality (as long as both generations were born in wedlock); AND
  • a claim to British nationality if the candidate was born in what was referred to as a "Foreign Country".

A grandparent's birth in the Republic of Ireland will result in claim to Irish nationality (as long as both generations were born in wedlock).


Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.

WhatPassport.com is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.