- What is an Irish Passport?
- General Requirements needed when Applying for an Irish Passport
- Irish Citizenship through Descent Passport Requirements
- Passport Requirements for Children Adopted by Irish Parents
- Irish Passport Requirements for Naturalized Citizens
- Irish Passport Requirements for Children
- Irish Passport Application Process
- Tracking the Progress of your Application
- Irish Passport Application Fees
- How can Total Law help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Irish Passport?
The Irish passport, which also functions as a European Union national identity Card, is a means of identification given to Ireland citizens.
The passport allows Irish citizens to travel within and outside Ireland while enjoying the benefits that come with Irish citizenship,which include being able to travel to any country in the European Union without needing a visa, and getting diplomatic assistance from Ireland.
Ireland’s passport is issued by the Passport Office, a division of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Whatever your citizenship route is, whether through naturalization, descent, birth, adoption, or refugee status, you can apply for your Irish passport once your citizenship has been granted.
General Requirements needed when Applying for an Irish Passport
Before applying for an Irish passport, you must be an Irish citizen first with proof of that citizenship. Certain documents will be required of you to prove your Irish citizenship and identity, they may include:
- Full Irish birth certificate
- Civil marriage/partnership certificate, if applicable, and you have changed your surname
- Proof of residence address
- Proof of full name
- A copy of your Public Services Card or your original government-issued photo identification
- Original passport, national ID card, social security card, or a certified copy of your driving license if resident in Canada or any other foreign country.
Note that the exact documents you provide will depend on how you obtained Irish citizenship. For example, if you are an Irish citizen by marriage, you wouldn’t need to provide an Irish birth certificate but will still need your Canadian birth certificate.
There are also other requirements and documents for a few other Irish citizenship routes.
Irish Citizenship through Descent Passport Requirements
Regardless of where you are born, you are automatically an Irish citizen and can apply for an Irish passport if your parents were Irish citizens or were born in Ireland.
You do not need to register your birth in the Foreign Births Register before applying for a passport. However, you need to register your birth in the foreign births register if either of your parents was born outside of Ireland or Northern Ireland before you can claim entitlement to your citizenship and apply for your Irish passport.
If you are claiming citizenship by ancestry through a grandparent born in Ireland, you are to register your birth in the foreign birth register and then apply for an Irish passport. This also applies if none of your parents hold Irish passports.
If you were born abroad to Irish-born parents, you would need to attach the following documents to the ones already stated:
- Your parent’s Irish birth certificate
- Your parents’ marriage or civil partnership certificate, if this is applicable
After your citizenship by descent has been granted, you can then apply for an Irish passport by attaching your Foreign Birth Registration certificate and your original foreign passport with the general requirements stated above.
Passport Requirements for Children Adopted by Irish Parents
You are eligible for Irish citizenship if you were born abroad and adopted by an Irish citizen under Irish law. When applying for an Irish passport, you will need to provide the following documents and attach them to the general required documents stated above:
- Your Intercountry Adoption Certificate, which demonstrates your entry in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions.
- Proof of Ireland citizenship of adoptive parent at the time of adoption in the form of birth certificate/Ireland passport.
You will need to provide the following documents if you were born in Ireland or Northern Ireland and adopted by an Irish citizen under Irish Law.
- Your adoption certificate
- Proof of Irish citizenship of your adoptive parent at the time of adoption, such as birth certificates/Irish passports.
- Your original passport, national ID card, social security card, or a certified copy of your driving license is needed if you are a resident in Northern Ireland/abroad when making your passport application.
Irish Passport Requirements for Naturalized Citizens
You can apply for an Irish passport after gaining Irish citizenship through naturalization. There are documents you need to attach with the general required documents stated above, including the following:
- Your original naturalization certificate
- Your original Canadian or another foreign passport, if available
After you have received your naturalization certificate, you can then apply for a passport.
Additional requirements for Irish Citizens Through Marriage
If you gain your citizenship through marriage, you are to provide the same documents as already listed above.
However, if you gained citizenship through a post-nuptial declaration, you are to include your post-nuptial certificate. To be clear, those who gained citizenship through this route were wives of Irish citizens who claimed citizenship by signing a post-nuptial declaration before 30 November 2005. So, your post-nuptial declaration must have been issued before 30 November 2005.
Irish Passport Requirements for Children
When applying for an Irish passport, the child’s parent must apply on behalf of the child.
The requirement for your child’s passport is dependent on individual circumstances, such as the origin of birth and time of birth. For instance, if your child was born on the island of Ireland on or after 1st January 2005, their eligibility is dependent on your citizenship status.
If you are an Irish citizen, they likely are citizens automatically, so you must submit your birth certificate and passport.
If you are not an Irish citizen but they are, you must provide other documents as detailed below.
For an EEA/Swiss national:
- You must provide proof of reckonable residence for three of the four years immediately before the birth, including tax records, social welfare benefits, utility bills, payslips etc.
For a non-EEA/Swiss national:
- Certificate of registration.
- Your passport with a detailed note indicating which pages contain immigration stamps covering the reckonable periods of residence
- Certificate of Nationality in respect of your child.
Irish Passport Application Process
There are three ways you can apply for an Irish passport. These are:
- Online, through Passport Online
- By post, through Passport Express
- In-person, through the Passport Office’s counter service or at an Irish embassy or consulate if you are living abroad
Passport Online Application Process
Passport Online Service is the fastest and cheapest way to get your first Irish passport or renew your passport. You can apply for your passport online and use the Passport Online service if you live in Ireland or outside Ireland, including Canada, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland. There are three steps to take when starting your passport online application.
Step 1: Digital Photographs
After creating an account, you must attach your digital photo to your online application. To upload your digital photo, you take it in three ways:
- Take your photo at a participating photo provider in which a unique code will be given to you to include with your online application.
- Take your photo at a photo provider, and ask them to email it to you, or save the photo on a USB device or other storage methods, where you have access to the photo when completing your online application
- Take your photo at home using a digital camera or smartphone, and it must capture your image from the waist upwards.
Step 2: Proving your Identity
After completing your online application, you will be asked to print an Identity Verification Form. If you are applying outside Ireland, the form must be observed and stamped by a professional witness who knows you personally but not a relative. If you are applying in Ireland, this form must be signed by a member of the Garda Síochána.
Step 3: Sending Documents
After completing your application, you will need to print an Application Cover Page, which will contain the list of documents you have to send to the Passport Service. The documents sent must be original and in English or the Irish language.
However, you must use a secure postage method for sending your documents. If you are applying in Ireland, a postage label is generated as part of your application. If you are applying outside Ireland, use a reliable postal service or the nearest Irish Embassy.
Applying by Post through Passport Express
When applying by post, you should fill in form APS 1 if you are an Irish citizen living in Ireland. This form is available at Garda stations and any post office. There are some steps to take when applying by post through passport express.
Step 1: Photographs
When applying, you must include 4 recent photographs of yourself, of which two photographs must be signed on the back by your witness. The witness should also write the form number on Section 9 of the application form on the two signed photographs, and the witness must be a member of Garda Síochána if you are applying in Ireland.
Step 2: Passport Express Abroad
If you are applying through passport express outside Ireland, your application form contains a list of suitable categories of witnesses. Your witness will have to provide their daytime contact number on the application form and their photo consent form witness. It is needed to verify some information about you and your witness by the Passport Service or the relevant embassy or consulate.
Applying in Person
When applying for your first passport, it is not recommended to apply in person at the Passport Office, as most Irish citizens can apply online using the online passport service. The counter service in the Passport Office is designed for those who wish to renew their passports urgently.
The process of collecting your first-time passport is complex because your right to Irish citizenship must be established, and your documents must be verified; hence, it is recommended to apply online.
If you are travelling urgently and might need your passport, it is important that you apply 8 weeks before your travel date.
In cases where you travel abroad and passport express or passport express or passport are not available, you can apply in person or use an ordinary or registered post to your nearest Irish embassy or consulate while using form APS 2.
Tracking the Progress of your Application
When you start your application, the Passport Service provides you with a passport tracking system that allows you to check the status of your application online. You must use your application number written on your form to use the passport tracking service.
Once your passport has been approved and received, it is important that the passport holder signs it; that means if it is a child’s passport, the child must sign it, but if the child cannot sign it, it should be left blank.
Irish Passport Application Fees
There are fees attached to the Irish passport application, and this depends on the number of pages and the passport size. However, you can pay with either your credit or debit card.
Standard 34-page 10-year passport
- Service Cost for Passport Online: €75 Plus a €5 postage if you live outside Ireland.
- Passport Express with An Post: €80 Plus a €9.50 fee for 1 application or a €16 fee for a Family Application for up to 4 applications.
Large 66-page 10-year passport
- Service Cost for Passport Online: €105 plus a €5 postage if you live outside Ireland.
- Passport Express with An Post: €110 plus a €9.50 fee for 1 or a €16 fee for a Family Application for up to 4 applications.
How can Total Law help?
Total law’s excellent immigration lawyers are vastly experienced in dealing with Irish passport applications and provide advice and support to make your application process smooth.
Our immigration lawyers will help you determine if it is right for you and that you meet the eligibility criteria, help you gather the supporting documents to ensure there are no delays or denials, and help you complete a high-standard application.
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Usually, first-time passport applicants take about 30 working days for their application to be completed. After your passport application has been received, the passport application takes a few weeks to be processed.
However, if you are applying by post, it takes at least 8 weeks of processing time, excluding postage times. There are cases where the processing time extends beyond 8 weeks; it can be extended due to increased application numbers.
Your original documents will be returned through the post to your address after your application has been processed. However, photocopies of your documents will not be returned.