Irish immigration to puerto rico: How the Irish Arrived in Puerto Rico

How the Irish Arrived in Puerto Rico

Almost all Americans have experienced the Irish contribution to the United States, but the Irish have been instrumental to the history of many countries. The other most notable after the United States are the settlements of Australia and New Zealand, but they have also influenced many societies of Spanish descent. As a Puerto Rican, I thank the sons of Erin for their contribution to my small island.

From the 16th to the 19th centuries, there was considerable Irish immigration to Puerto Rico for a number of reasons. During the 16th century, many Irishmen, who were known as «Wild Geese,» escaped from forced service in the English army and joined the Spanish army. They did so either in Europe or when they could «jump ship» off the coast of Puerto Rico (whenever English ships came to trade or when the English navy was engaged in attacks against the Spanish colonial forces on the island), at which time they joined the Spanish colonial army, mainly in San Juan.

Many of these men who served in the Spanish colonial army in Puerto Rico remained in the service of Spain after their military service was completed and decided to stay on the island, most often sending for extended family members from Ireland or Spain. Some married local women.

Field Marshal Alejandro O’Reilly (left) and Colonel Tomás O’Daly (right), among other Irish military figures, were sent to Puerto Rico from Spain during the 18th century in order to improve the capital’s fortifications. This led to an increase in Irish immigration as family members were brought to the island by these Irish serving in the Spanish colonial army.

In 1797, the Spanish governor of Puerto Rico, Ramón de Castro, ordered the expulsion of the Irish from the island. This immediately led to protests from the Puerto Rican people since they had grown to respect the Irish immigrant community for their steadfast support of the island’s residents. Almost all of those who temporarily fled during this time survived the witch hunt created by de Castro and returned to live in Puerto Rico discreetly.

The Spanish government enacted the Royal Decree of Graces (Real Cédula de Gracias) in 1815 to encourage Europeans of non-Spanish origin to immigrate to the last two remaining Spanish possessions in the New World, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Spain hoped to blunt the nascent independence movements in both colonies by way of this measure.

Many Irish who fled their homeland because of the Potato Famine of the 1840s (over 1 million people died as a result of this famine) immigrated to the United States. A significant number of them went to Puerto Rico after being turned away at American ports because of epidemic outbreaks onboard the ships on which they sailed. Many of these Irish settlers were instrumental in the development of the island’s hugely successful sugar industry. Said industry was vital to the growing local economy.

After Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States by Spain as a consequence of the Spanish–American War in 1898, many U.S. soldiers of Irish-American ancestry were stationed in the island. They met members of the population who were island-born and Irish-descended. These soldiers stayed in Puerto Rico, where they were quickly incorporated into the Irish, non-Irish, and native communities throughout the island.

The Irish influence in Puerto Rico is not limited to their contributions to the island’s agricultural industry; they have also influenced the fields of education, the arts and sciences, and politics.

On an added note,  Snakes are also very rare on the Island of Puerto Rico.

Views: 8388

Tags: Americas


2 members like this



Celebrate the Irish History of Puerto Rico St Patrick’s Day

Caribbean History, Culture, Holiday Traditions, Puerto Rico

Posted on by Captain Tim

It is almost Puerto Rico St Patrick’s Day – the ubiquitous Irish holiday that brings out the wearin’ o’ the green-  and the Irish in us yearns to break free and do a jig.   When thinking of St. Patrick Day celebrations, everyone thinks of the events that are celebrated in Boston or New York City – large communities of Irish descent.  But everyone is always surprised to see Puerto Rico celebrating the day.  Now, of course, Puerto Ricans will take any excuse to celebrate and indulge in a holiday.  But really – there is a rich Irish history in Puerto Rico (and the Caribbean for that matter).  So, when you drink that green beer as you lounge along the beaches of Puerto Rico, feel confident that you are memorializing a long history of Irish immigration and participation in Puerto Rico’s history….


From the 16th to the 19th century, there was considerable Irish immigration to Puerto Rico, for a number of reasons. During the 16th century many Irishmen, who were known as “Wild Geese,” fled the English Army and joined the Spanish Army. Some of these men were stationed in Puerto Rico and remained there after their military service to Spain was completed. During the 18th century men such as Field Marshal Alejandro O’Reilly and Colonel Tomas O’Daly were sent to the island to revamp the capital’s fortifications. This led to an influx of Irish immigration to the island. In 1797, the appointed governor of Puerto Rico, Ramón de Castro, ordered the expulsion of the Irish from Puerto Rico which led to protests from the local people of the island. This was due to the British invasion in Trinidad, which de Castro believed would be followed by an invasion of Puerto Rico, which it was.  All English-speaking people were given six days to leave the island or be imprisoned.  It was later repealed by the Spanish Crown.  Many Irishmen survived the witch hunt created by Castro and continued to live in Puerto Rico.


The Spanish government modified the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 to encourage Europeans of non-Spanish origin to immigrate and populate the last two remaining Spanish possessions in the “New World,” Puerto Rico and Cuba, with the hope that the independence movements would lose their popularity and strength with the arrival of new settlers. Free land was offered to those who wanted to populate the islands on the condition that they swear their loyalty to the Spanish Crown and allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.[15]


Many Irish refugees who fled Ireland because of the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s which killed over one million Irish people immigrated to Puerto Rico. These settlers were instrumental in the development of the island’s sugar industry which was vital to the island’s economy.


After Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States by Spain as a consequence of the Spanish-American War, many soldiers of Irish-American descent stationed in the island intermarried with the locals and established their homes there. (Source:


Where to Celebrate this Puerto Rico St Patrick’s Day:

For the last several years, the town of Luquillo has hosted a day-long Saint Patrick’s Day festival which includes a Parada de San Patricio (St. Patrick’s Parade) honoring Ireland’s patron saint.   There is traditional Irish food and a raffle.  Caribbean Trading Company will be there wearing our green and will donate an awesome gift basket to the raffle again this year, as we did last year!  There are various Irish pubs around the island which also celebrate the holiday and serve the typical green colored beer on the occasion. Amongst them are Shannon’s Irish Pub in San Juan, and Logan’s Irish Pub in Río Piedras.

Liked this article? Join the Crew and Start the Journey! Connect with Us for News, Events, Lifestyle, and all things Caribbean by joining our Newsletter – Click Here to Join or find us on Facebook or Instagram.

This entry was posted in Caribbean History, Culture, Holiday Traditions, Puerto Rico. Bookmark the permalink.

Captain Tim

Captain Tim is the founder of Caribbean Trading Company in Puerto Rico. Many years ago Captain Tim was a normal everyday guy who decided to do what so many people only dream about. He moved to the Caribbean. Traveling throughout the islands, he has the joy of sharing this lifestyle and its flavors with the world.

US residence permit: how to get a residence permit and move to the US for permanent residence

The United States of America (USA) remains one of the most popular destinations for migrants and investors from all over the world. The United States has a complex immigration system, so in each case it is necessary to select the best immigration option and plan tax obligations in advance.

The EB-5 investment program allows investors to obtain a US permanent resident identification card — a green card. nine0003

EB-5 Investment Immigration Program

The EB-5 program is an effective way to obtain a green card for permanent residence in the United States. The pilot project of the program was proposed by Congress back in 1990 to support the economy of certain regions of the country.

The program is currently under constant government supervision; the program is subject to change.

A foreign citizen is required to invest USD 1.05 million in any investment project in the United States or USD 800,000 if it is a project in agricultural areas or areas with high unemployment. It is also necessary to create 10 full-time jobs. It is necessary to support investment activities until obtaining the status of a permanent resident (on average 5 years). nine0003

US EB-5 Investment Program Benefits

  • Opportunity to obtain a US Permanent Resident Identification Card

    for the investor and his/her spouse and unmarried children under 21.
  • US Work Permit.
  • Visa-free entry to the United States.

Terms for obtaining a US residence permit under the EB-5 program

Terms vary depending on the selected program option. On average, the process of obtaining permanent resident status takes 5 years. nine0003

EB-5 Program Conditions USA

The USA has established regional centers with regional divisions for each target industry. To participate in this program, applicants must:

1. Fulfill one of the investment requirements:

  • Invest from USD 800,000 in one of the target projects of regional centers

    in rural areas or areas with high unemployment.
  • Invest USD 1.05 million in any business project that contributes to the economic development of the selected region. nine0021

2. Create or retain 10 full-time jobs. Investors can create jobs indirectly and avoid the laborious process of actually creating 10 jobs for US citizens. At the same time, the investor can live and work in any state.

Successful applicants receive a temporary green card for two years. If, after this period, the candidate meets all the conditions of the program, the card becomes permanent. To maintain a green card, permanent residents must reside in the United States for at least 180 days a year and maintain social ties with the country. nine0003

There are no age, language or business experience requirements to participate in the program. However, the applicant must have a net worth of more than USD 1 million, as well as provide documentary evidence of the source of funds.

Henley & Partners helps international clients find the right regional center and help them properly process and apply for an EB-5 visa.

E-2 nonimmigrant visa

The US E-2 visa is a non-immigrant investor visa that allows you to live and work in the US based on an investment in a US company. E-2 status is suitable for those investors who plan to move to the US to develop their business. Only citizens of those countries with which the United States has signed special agreements can apply for an E-2 visa. These states include, for example, Grenada, Turkey and Canada. Individuals who have obtained citizenship by investment in one of these countries must reside there for at least 3 years before applying for an E-2 visa. nine0003

There are no restrictions on the type of activity of companies in which capital can be invested. The investment is non-refundable.


After five years of legal residence from the date of receipt of a residence permit (temporary green card), a resident can apply for citizenship and a US passport.

Is it possible to get to America without a visa?

Let’s start with the sad thing: Belarusians cannot get to America without a visa. There are no programs, special situations or loopholes that will save you from having to collect documents for the embassy and anxiously wait for the decision of the visa officer. But there are countries whose residents are more fortunate than Belarusian residents. Let’s talk about them in a little more detail. nine0003

Speaking of America without a visa, it is worth deciding what is included in the US passport and visa territory. If no one has any questions or doubts about the continental part of the country, as well as Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands, then it is worth dwelling on other possessions in more detail. So, uniform visa rules also apply to Puerto Rico, Midway Atoll, Wake and Swains Islands, the US Virgin Islands, and Johnston. At the same time, for such American possessions as the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, American Samoa, Palau and Guam, a special visa status is provided. nine0003

A 100% visa-free America is a luxury only available to Canadians. Only they are allowed to cross the border with the United States and stay in America for 180 days. Moreover, they can do this not only without a visa, but even without a passport. To travel to a neighboring country, they only need to take a NEXUS Card with them.

Online Visa

For some countries, the US provides an opportunity to enter its territory with an electronic visa. In this case, the visa-free regime is conditional, because you still have to get a document allowing entry. But this can be done in a simplified way. To do this, you need to fill out a form on the website of the Department of Homeland Security. nine0003

An e-visa is issued online before travel. Its cost is 14 USD. The visa allows entry into the United States for a period of 90 days. In this case, an important condition is the presence of a biometric passport.

Residents of a relatively small number of countries can enter America without a traditional visa (ie, pasted into the passport).

  • Europe: Schengen countries, UK, Ireland, Andorra .
  • Former Soviet Union: Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia .
  • Asia: Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Brunei .
  • Australia and Oceania: New Zealand, Australia .
  • Americas: Canada, Bahamas .

Tourists who are unable to travel to America without a visa (including those with an electronic entry permit) are required under general conditions to apply for a category B visa. undergo the fingerprinting process. nine0003

PLEASE NOTE! You won’t be able to get into America without a visa, even if the purpose of your visit is just transit through an American airport.

Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *