Can you change your nationality?

Okay let's say my mother is Irish and my dad is Spanish (example), and I was born in Spain rather than Ireland for that reason my nationality is Spanish... now can I change it to Irish? is it possible to switch the roles?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Hahaha, "nationality".
    I have been debating that in my head for quite sometime.

    I would say this, be whatever you want to be. But there is one qualification, you must be connected to that place. If you want to be Irish, go for it.

    But if you wanted to be Canadian (for some doltish reason), I would say you couldn't: what is your connection?

    This is an interesting subject. I would restrain from picking one nationality: it has consequences. By picking one, are you not cutting off a part of your being - that being the Spanish part.

    For example, my father is Croatian and my mother is German-Dutch. I was born in the Netherlands.
    During the cool seasons, I engage more with my Dutch side. During the warmer months, I engage more wit my Croatian side. Im American 24/7, because America is the best.

    That isn't to say I ignore them during some seasons, I just don't feel it as strongly. It is hard to explain.

    You only have so many years - do what you please.

    • I just prefer not being a part of that homeland. For example, it's not considered legitimate if someone asked where was I from and I say Ireland because my nationality where I was born is Spain, for that reason I need to say Spain. I was just wondering if it were possible to change that to Irish because I do have an obvious connection by my mother haha, is there a specific age you can change it?

    • Show All
    • You know what you're right regarding that, I'll go with what you've mentioned. From now on I should choose whatever I'd see myself as close to not the birth of my place even though a lot would, since its considered legitimate ☝

    • Sounds like a plan

What Guys Said 4

  • Yes - and no.
    First of all, you can technically "give up" your nationality but chances are that your country won't accept that. And even if it does, it would be a very, very bad idea to make yourself a stateless person for a variety of reasons (stateless people lead incredibly tough lives).

    Now, as for the adopting of a new citizenship:
    - If it's just any random citizenship, there are usually very high standards you have to fulfill to get it. This depends on the laws of the individual country you would want to be a citizen of. Some countries have extremely strict laws, others are a little more easy-going. Generally speaking, you need to have lived in that particular country for a significant amount of time (usually 5 years at the very least, sometimes much more than that) and you need to be able to speak the local official language or at least one of the official languages. For example my country Switzerland has four official languages and foreigners who want to get the Swiss citizenship need to be proficient in at least one of these four languages. Many countries such as the US also require you to take a citizenship exam, where you need to answer questions about American history, politics, culture etc.. Some countries such as Canada or also my country Switzerland require you to have a steady job. And some countries even require you to have absolutely no criminal records.
    - Second scenario: If it's a nationality that one of your parents already holds (such as Irish in your example), you can USUALLY get that citizenship too. For example I am a double citizen. My mom is Swiss and my dad is Greek. I have both a Swiss and a Greek passport. However, depending on the country, you can run into unexpected problems. For example Switzerland and Greece both have mandatory military service for all men (general draft). In Switzerland it's one year, it's Greece it's two years. So when my brother and I got our Greek citizenship, the Greek government tried to force us into the Greek military although we had already done our duties for the Swiss army. We eventually didn't have to go but it was pretty scary.
    Also, while you can USUALLY adopt a nationality that your dad or your mom has, it might not always work. There are a few nations on earth (such as Japan) that have EXTREMELY strict requirements, such as that you have to been born in that particular country. In the case of Ireland, that shouldn't be a problem as far as I know.

    And finally, you should know that not

    • all countries know dual citizenship. This means that some countries force you to choose between nationalities. I'll give you an example: my girlfriend comes from South Korea and she now lives with me in Switzerland. Switzerland knows dual citizenship, South Korea however does not. So if my girlfriend ever wants to become a Swiss citizen (because it's easier to find work this way and because she would be allowed to vote etc.), the Korean government would force her to give up her Korean nationality. As you can perhaps imagine, this is an insanely tough decision to make. On the one hand, getting the Swiss citizenship would make my girlfriend's life here in Switzerland MUCH easier. On the other hand, Korea is her home where she grew up all her life, where she has her family and her friends and where she went to school. Giving up that nationality would feel like giving up an important part of her own identity.

    • As he said, not all countries allow it. For instance, my boyfriend can't get a dual Chinese-American citizenship as China does not recognize dual citizenship. While his parents are both Chinese immigrants, and his mother only has a green card, and he was born here, he still cannot be both. However, I'm allowed to be a dual citizen of the UK and of the US, because my dad is from the UK and they recognize dual citizenship

  • Yes, your nationality is the nation you choose to associate yourself with. Before the 2014 World Cup Diego Costa played for the Brazilian national team, when the coach didn't have him as a starter he became Spanish (lived in Spain) to get a starting role. He got a lot of hate for it but it can be done.

    • Thank you for informing me, it looks like I can get any nationality while my thought was it's either one of my parent's nationalities

    • No ma'am, thank you.

  • sounds like a legal question in your country.

  • You would have to go through the naturalization process in Ireland.


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