Applying for a British Passport for Irish Citizens

If you’re a British citizen over 16 years old and have never had a UK passport, you can apply for your first adult British passport.

For assistance with your application process, do not hesitate to call Total Law at  (+353) 061 518 025 You can also use the online contact form to get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers, that will support you through the entire application.

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    What is the British Passport?

    The British passport is a travel document that proves that you are a British national and allows you to enter and leave Britain free of immigration controls. The passport is also an identity document that will enable you to move freely within the UK and proves your right to apply for work, study, and access state benefits.

    The UK passport is one of the most coveted travel documents in the world. It grants visa-free access to many countries in the world.

    While the UK was a member state of the EU/EEA, the British passport allowed you to travel freely between EU member states under the EU treaty rights. Following Brexit, British passport holders can only travel to the Schengen Area without a visa for 90 days. However, under the common travel area (CTA) agreement, the UK passport allows you to enter Ireland freely.

    An adult British passport lasts for ten years. Upon expiry, you will then make a passport renewal application.

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      Who is Eligible to Apply for a British passport?

      As an Irish citizen, you are eligible to apply for a British passport. The Good Friday Agreement signed in 1998 gave people born in Northern Ireland the right to claim British or Irish citizenship. You can hold both a British and Irish passport and remain an Irish citizen if you choose.

      Since 1 January 2005, if you’re born in Northern Ireland, you can claim Irish citizenship if your parents are British or Irish citizens, or one of them has lived on the island of Ireland for at least 3 out of the 4 years before you were born.

      Every British national over 16 years old is eligible for a passport. There are also many ways to become a British citizen, through birth, marriage, or naturalisation.

      If you’re a British citizen by birth and have never owned a British passport, you’re eligible for a first-time UK passport application once you’re 16 years or are three weeks away from your 16th birthday.

      As a citizen by naturalisation, the British passport application is typically the final step in the naturalisation process.

      Obtaining your British passport proves that you are a legitimate British citizen. You cannot apply for a British passport before acquiring British citizenship. The application process for a British passport must only begin after you have acquired citizenship

      Total Law’s expert immigration lawyers are on hand 24/7 to help you with every step of the naturalisation process and passport application process.

      How to Apply for a British Passport

      Depending on your situation, you can apply for a British passport from inside the UK or overseas (including the Republic of Ireland) as an Irish citizen.

      Applying from within the UK as an Irish citizen

      If you reside within the UK, you can apply for your first adult British passport online or via post. To apply online, you’ll need;

      • a digital photo of yourself
      • someone who can confirm your identity (counter signatory). This person must be;
      • above 18 years
      • live in the UK
      • have a valid British or Irish passport
      • have known you for at least two years
      • know you as a friend, neighbour, or colleague
      • work in a recognised profession such as accounting, pharmacy, etc.
      • be recognised as a person of good standing in the community
      • not be related to you by birth or marriage
      • not be working for the home office
      • certain supporting document
      • your credit or debit card

      You’ll also need to pay the online application fee.

      Online applications are easier, cheaper, and faster. You’ll have to fill out the online application form, submit it, and pay the necessary fees. His Majesty’s (HM) Passport Office will contact your counter signatory via email with instructions on what to do. After your counter signatory has confirmed your identity, the Passport office will email you instructions on what documents to submit and how to submit them. You may also need to attend an interview.

      To apply for a British passport via post, you’ll need;

      • a filled-in application form
      • two passport photos
      • a counter signatory to confirm your identity
      • supporting documents

      You’ll need to get the application form from a Post Office that offers the Passport Check and Send service. You’ll fill certain designated sections, while your counter signatory will fill out a different section. Your counter signatory will also sign and date the photos that you will submit.

      Afterwards, you will submit the filled-out form, photos, and your supporting document via the post office. The ‘Check & Send Service’ can check over your documents and post them to HM Passport Office by Special Delivery. Alternatively, you can post your documents directly to UKVI. If you need the passport urgently, you may book an appointment to access the online premium or fast-track services.

      Applying for a British passport from Overseas as an Irish Citizen

      If you live outside the UK in the Republic of Ireland or travel outside the UK after your naturalisation process, you may apply for your first UK passport from your country of residence.
      The first step is for you to use the Home Office Overseas tool to get specific advice on how to apply for your passport from the country where you are. If you reside in the Republic of Ireland or most non-visa-required countries, you can apply for your passport online by completing the Overseas British Passport application.

      To apply for a British passport overseas, you will need;

      • a digital passport photo
      • a filled-out application form
      • you may need someone to confirm your identity.
      • supporting documents
      • pay the passport application fees

      The Home Office will provide details of which documents you need to send and where to send them. Your documents will be couriered to HM Passport Office with the required information to process.
      As part of your application, HM Passport Office may require you to do an interview to confirm your identity. This interview typically takes less than 30 minutes and can be done online via video call.

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        Documents needed for UK Passport Applications

        As an Irish citizen, whether you’re applying from within the UK or outside the UK you must submit certain documents to support your application.

        Becoming a British citizen through naturalisation does not automatically mean that your passport application will be accepted.

        Each application will be considered individually. Another essential point to note is that you cannot send photocopies of your documents. Only original documents will be accepted for processing by the Passport Office.

        The following documentation is pertinent to your application for a first British passport:

        • your birth certificate or adoption certificate if you were adopted
        • documentary evidence of at least one of your parents’ immigration status if you were born in the UK after January 1983
        • your certificate for naturalisation or, if you were born abroad, your certificate of registration
        • if you have changed your name, you must provide at least one document that shows the name change, e.g., a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
        • coloured passport-sized photographs

        If any of your documents are not in English or Welsh, you must translate them and submit the certified translations with the original copies.

        Processing Times

        When making your first passport application as an Irish citizen, you may have to wait a while to allow HM Passport Office to carry out all the required checks. Typically, the Passport Office will take six weeks to process your first passport application.

        To avoid having delays in your applications, ensure that:

        • the name on your passport matches the name which appears on your documentation. If your name has changed, you must use your new name within your application
        • list all of your maiden/previous names

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          Getting your new passport and supporting documents

          HM passport office will send you your new passport by courier or recorded delivery after processing your application. If you live in Ireland or abroad, your passport will be delivered to the address you filled in the OS application form. So ensure that you fill in the correct address.

          The office will return your supporting documents separately from your passport.

          How you get them depends on the delivery option you choose when filling in your application. If you wish, you can pay an additional charge for secure delivery that will let you track your package.

          Passports fees

          The passport fees depend on if you’re applying from Ireland or the UK, and how you are applying. If you apply for your first passport online, you will pay £75.50 (€88.50). However, if you are submitting a paper application, you will pay £85 (€99.64)

          Applying for a child’s passport costs £49 (€57.44) to apply online and £58.50 (€68.57) with a paper form from the Post Office.

          if you’re applying from overseas, the passport costs £86 (€100.81) for an adult and £56 (€65.64)for a child. In addition, you will pay a £19.86 (€23.28) courier fee.

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            Applying for a child passport

            You can apply for a British passport for your child if your child is a UK national and is under 16 years. To apply for a child passport, you must sign the form on their behalf and act as the official applicant.

            You can only apply for a child’s passport if you have parental responsibility for the child. You must provide the details of both parents on the application form. If for any reason, you cannot provide any detail, you must explain the reason via a letter.

            A child passport is valid for five years.

            British passport application refusal

            In some cases, a passport application may be refused. This is usually the case if;

            • the Passport Office cannot verify all the details on an application
            • a person is being investigated for citizenship deprivation purposes
            • a person has an incomplete application or provides inaccurate information
            • an applicant has not paid the application fee
            • there are suspicions that the applicant intends to use the passport for terrorism-related or criminal activities.

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              How can Total Law help?

              The British passport application process can be quite hectic. In addition, it can be frustrating when your application is denied. Total Law understands the need for a seamless passport application for Irish citizens and is committed to helping you obtain that.

              Our immigration lawyers can assist you through each stage of the application process. We will help you check your supporting documents to ensure they are sufficient for your application. We will also help you fill out your application forms, submit your application and liaise with the Home Office to ensure that the entire process is smooth for you.

              Your passport application should not make you stressed.

              Contact us at (+353) 061 518 025 or use our online contact form to get in touch with an immigration lawyer.

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                        Frequently Asked Questions

                        There are numerous advantages to holding both the UK and Irish passports. Luckily, Britain and Ireland allow citizens from each country to hold dual nationality. As an Irish citizen, if you can prove your eligibility for British citizenship, you will become a British citizen by naturalization and can then apply for a UK passport.

                        You can easily renew your passport from within or outside the UK after it expires. You can also replace lost or stolen passports easily,

                        The procedure for renewing an expired passport is similar to making a new application. However, the renewal processing time is faster. Renewing a passport costs £75.50 online or £85 if you submit your application via paperwork.

                        Irish and British citizens can live in either country and have access to public funding, voting rights, access to healthcare and more.

                        Ireland is not part of the Schengen Area. You do not need to follow the 90/180 rule when in Ireland.