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I have been searching about Irish naturalization requirements on the internet since quite some time and I see all the usual requirements: 5 years residence, Good character, Attend a citizenship ceremony and make the declaration of fidelity etc.., where one additional requirement was Intention to reside in Ireland after citizenship is granted.

Now look at this page which mentions this:

Residing Outside of Ireland After the Grant of Citizenship

When a person submits their application for Irish citizenship, they are asked if they intend to have their usual place of residence in Ireland following naturalisation and the answer to this is always yes. There are occasions where people’s circumstances change which results in them leaving Ireland, for example due to offers of employment or family circumstances. Under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended, the Minister for Justice has the power to revoke a certificate of naturalisation where an individual has been ordinarily resident outside of the State for seven years unless they have registered their intention to retain their Irish citizenship. This is done by submitting a Form 5 (Form CTZ2) Declaration of Intention to retain Irish citizenship by a naturalised Irish citizen residing outside of Ireland. The Form 5 (Form CTZ2) Declaration of Intention, Version 6 Jan 20 must be lodged with the INIS, or with the nearest Irish Embassy or Consular Office to a person’s location. We strongly advise all naturalised Irish citizens to file the Form 5 if ordinary resident outside of Ireland to ensure that they retain their Irish citizenship.

It is about the "intention to retain Irish citizenship" if a naturalized person has resided abroad (outside Ireland) for 7 years. If they still want to keep their naturalized Irish status, they have to fill this form so that Ireland does not assume that they no longer wish to retain it.

Most countries require residence beforehand. Some require it afterwards. The US used to require this, but that is no longer the case now. Germany does not. Ireland does, but here it seems that a naturalized person can anyway live abroad for periods longer than 7 years just by filling that form (that basically declares the intention to RETAIN citizenship).

Based on Irish law, specifically the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, can I live abroad after naturalizing as an Irish citizen and retain my citizenship just by filling that form? Will Ireland revoke my citizenship on the basis that I left Ireland after I naturalized (while "intention to live in Ireland" was a requirement for naturalization)? If it were a country like UK or New Zealand, it would straightaway revoke citizenship by claiming misrepresentation of the intention to reside. Does Irish law require me to reside compulsorily in Ireland after naturalization?

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Based on Irish law, specifically the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, can I live abroad after naturalizing as an Irish citizen and retain my citizenship just by filling that form?

Yes, subject of course to factual disputes. The statute (as amended) provides that this revocation is not possible when the citizen has "registered annually in the prescribed manner his name and a declaration of his intention to retain Irish citizenship with an Irish diplomatic mission or consular office or with the Minister":

Revocation of certificates of naturalisation.

19.—(1) The Minister may revoke a certificate of naturalisation if he is satisfied—

(a) that the issue of the certificate was procured by fraud, misrepresentation whether innocent or fraudulent, or concealment of material facts or circumstances, or

(b) that the person to whom it was granted has, by any overt act, shown himself to have failed in his duty of fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State, or

(c) that (except in the case of a certificate of naturalisation which is issued to a person of Irish descent or associations) the person to whom it is granted has been ordinarily resident outside the State or, in the case of an application for a certificate of naturalisation granted under section 15A, resident outside the island of Ireland (otherwise than in the public service) for a continuous period of seven years and without reasonable excuse has not during that period registered annually in the prescribed manner his name and a declaration of his intention to retain Irish citizenship with an Irish diplomatic mission or consular office or with the Minister, or

(d) that the person to whom it is granted is also, under the law of a country at war with the State, a citizen of that country, or

(e) that the person to whom it is granted has by any voluntary act, other than marriage or entry into a civil partnership, acquired another citizenship.

To be precise, filing this declaration does not protect the citizen from revocation of naturalization under another subsection of section 19(1). But if we assume that the annual declarations were all filed promptly (or that there is a reasonable excuse for any failure to file promptly), and that there is no dispute about this, then it is plain from the statutory text that the minister has no discretion to revoke the certificate of naturalization under 19(1)(c).

If it were a country like UK or New Zealand, it would straightaway revoke citizenship by claiming misrepresentation of the intention to reside.

This is not necessarily true. If there is a reason for the decision to leave, the naturalized citizen could seek to rebut any presumption that there had been misrepresentation.

In the case of Ireland, filing the annual declaration does not protect the naturalized citizen from denaturalization under 19(1)(a), so even if the declarations are filed, it could be necessary to show evidence that there was a genuine intention to reside in Ireland at the time of naturalization, and that the intention changed subsequently. If that intention did not in fact exist, then the minister could assert that the certificate had been obtained by fraud, and if the naturalized citizen is unable to rebut that assertion, the minister could revoke the certificate under 19(1)(a).

Also see Part IV of the statute for other ways in which Irish citizenship may be lost.

In practice, I don't think it is presently very common for countries that generally tolerate (or explicitly permit) multiple nationalities, such as Ireland, the UK, and New Zealand, to seek to denaturalize their naturalized citizens who move abroad. Denaturalization seems to be largely confined to politically sensational cases such as those of terrorists.

Since Ireland is a party to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, one way to protect your Irish citizenship may be to renounce your other citizenship(s), if that is possible. However, I do not see any related provisions in the 1956 act linked above.

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  • This is a perfectly clear answer. Thank you phoog for the time you spent writing this for me! – Jay Shah Jul 16 '20 at 14:18

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