My sister scanned and emailed me this today:

There you have it, folks! For just $180 and a lot of bureaucratic hoop-jumping, you too can become a citizen of a country that you’ve never been to!

OK, so you have to have a grandparent born in Ireland too, but my cousin got Italian citizenship through her Italian grandparents, and I’m pretty sure the UK has a similar thing going on. This suggests that a lot of other European countries have citizenship-by-descent arrangements too. And in any country of immigrants like Australia or the US, there’s a lot of people with foreign grandparents.

The reason this is so useful is because of Europe’s attempt to amalgamate itself into a dysfunctional American-style union to regain its past glory. Having Irish citizenship automatically grants me European Union citizenship, allowing me to live and work anywhere in Europe. As I am just entering my early twenties and plan to spend a lot of time out of Australia, this will come in handy.

Another benefit is having a second passport. Even if you never plan to go to the country you’re a citizen of, a second passport can come in handy. There have been several times here in Korea when I’ve had to surrender my Australian passport to government institutions (once for an entire week) and it makes me distinctly uneasy to be in a foreign land without it.

I strongly advise anyone who plans to travel to take a look at their family tree and see if they can acquire dual citizenship. Well worth the time and money.