Irish Citizens

TLDR –21 June 2024 at the Dublin convention center Michelle and I became Irish Citizens. With plus one Wes.

The start

About 7 years ago when the opportunity to move to Ireland was presented to us by Microsoft we figured we’d come for a few years, travel around the EU and move home a few years later. Not long after moving here we fell in love with the country and decided to stay. Ireland is not the county we were born into it’s the country we’ve chosen to live in.

Applying

We needed five years of residency to apply for citizenship. Shortly after the milestone Michelle started the paper work collection process; the massive process. Bills from every month of the previous 5 years, Bank records from the years, Tax records, pay stubs, record and reason of every time we left the Irish state and some other bits. Fast forward a few months we started to fill out the applications. Application was simple for Michelle for me I felt like I’d hit a wall and should give up all hope.

Question 17 basically read- list any judgements – According to the Washington state Court history search my record has over 350 entries. Trenton’s mother was a Vexatious litigant. One of the entire in the list is a monitory judgment from her attorney, another is a monitory judgement from her mother, a night in jail, so much in the record. I gave up and did not want to apply. Figured Michelle could apply to get the kids citizenship and that would be our only option.  Michelle being the best partner every pushed to hire a solicitor; to not give up before we try.

We hired Gibson and associates who gave us some hope, not much to me on the inside – but it was more then no hope. The solicitors helped organize our paper work, and add a cover letter. They collected a bunch of money us before sending of our applications.  We applied in July 2023 when the wait time listed on the government website showed 19 months. Expecting to hear back in 2025 we put the idea to back of mind.

Shockingly we heard back in February of 2024 requesting we fill out Garda vetting forms to allow the Irish police to do a back ground check on us – PROGRESS. 30 April we each received an email acknowledging we’d paid the 950e fee to finalize the citizenship application “A Citizenship Certificate Fee was processed on 30/04/2024. You will receive a letter from this office in due course regarding the final stage of your Citizenship application.” Next step is formal declaration of fidelity to the Irish state at a naturalization ceremony. Ireland asked for money and accepted the money all signs point toward we’re both approved. – in shock.

The Ceremony

Few months after our payments on 9 June we each received another email from the department of Justice inviting us to a ceremony

Congratulations, I am pleased to inform you that the Minister for Justice intends to grant your application for a certificate of naturalisation at a citizenship ceremony in The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1 DO1 T1W on Friday, 21 June 2024 at 11am.
Please attend for registration at 10am at The Convention Centre Dublin, Dublin 1 DO1 T1W6 .

They allowed a single plus one each. Wes being my BFF, a friend of the family, and having an obsession with politics and immmigration was our Plus one. Wes planned to Train from Seattle to Vancouver and fly to Dublin arriving the day before. Sadly his train was delayed resulting in a missed flight. Wes managed booking magic and arrived the next day a few hours before the ceremony. We met him there with a Luggage Porter, Maddex, to haul his luggage back to our place.

Caught up with Wes in the queue before being separated inside the convention centre. Guests were seated on the top floor, new citizens seated on the main floor. We sat as close possible to the front, 6 rows back. The number 1 Irish military band played some music, Star trek theme and the national anthem, a few people spoke, then we made the statement of fidelity in unison with the rest of the crowd to officially becoming Irish Citizens.

Declaration of fidelity to the Irish nation and loyalty to the State

“I (name) having applied to the Minister for Justice for a certificate of naturalisation, hereby solemnly declare my fidelity to the Irish nation and my loyalty to the State.

I undertake to faithfully observe the laws of the State and to respect its democratic values.”

Just like that – we’re officially Irish naturalized citizens. The statement was far more emotional then expected for both of us. Only a few words, but it felt like giving wedding vows. Shortly after the statement the ceremony wraps up and we walk out with a slightly different view of Dublin; that capital city of the Republic of Ireland.

Bunch of pictures from the day and Wes’s visit

The queue to sign in

Before we were separated
Our view of the stage
I actually wore some pants
Maddex brought a book to read on the LUAS

Epic day in front of Epic
6 rows back on the end

 

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