Applying for an Irish passport in the UK
Since the 2016 EU referendum, applications for Irish passports have soared in the UK. This is largely due to the fact that Britain is no longer a part of the European Union, bringing free movement across Europe to an end for British citizens.
For Irish citizens, however, they remain a part of the EU. Many Brits have since found that, if they are eligible for dual citizenship, they too can still enjoy the benefits of travelling freely by acquiring an Irish passport.
It is important to note that to apply for an Irish passport in the UK, you must be eligible.
There are numerous routes to Irish citizenship; you can determine which route is most applicable to your personal circumstances and apply based on this.
Do I qualify for an Irish passport?
For those in the UK, eligibility for an Irish passport depends on your personal circumstances. You may qualify due to where you were born, or where your parent(s) or grandparent(s) were born.
If you are married to or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen, you may apply to become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, however only if you and your partner are residing in Ireland.
Those living in the UK can be eligible under the following circumstances:
- If you were born in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland before 1st January 2005, you are automatically entitled to Irish citizenship
- If you were born in Ireland and your parents were British or Irish citizens at the time of your birth
- If you have an Irish parent/parents or grandparent that was born in Ireland
How do I apply for an Irish passport in the UK?
The process of applying for an Irish passport includes providing personal information and supporting documentation to the Department of Foreign Affairs which proves that you are eligible.
Unfortunately, if you are applying for your first Irish passport, this cannot be completed online.
If you are in the UK, you must visit an Irish embassy or consulate to collect the relevant application form before taking this away to be completed.
Once you have completed the application form, it must be signed and stamped by a witness – this cannot be somebody you are related to, they must be within a certain profession as outlined by the embassy, such as a doctor or police officer.
Along with this form, you must also post the following key documents which will serve as proof of your identity and evidence that you qualify for an Irish passport:
- Your birth certificate
- Your marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Proof that you are entitled to Irish citizenship if born abroad
- Photo identification, such as your driver’s license or current passport
- Proof of your name and address, e.g. payslips, bank statement, utility bills
- Four passport photographs – two of these must be signed on the back by your witness
Our professional immigration lawyers are experienced in preparing applications for Irish citizenship and can help you to acquire an Irish passport. To enquire, contact us on +353 (0) 615 180 25.
How long does it take to get an Irish passport in the UK?
Processing times for Irish passport applications can vary depending on the standard of your application and whether you have provided the relevant/sufficient supporting documents.
Failing to provide the correct information, or a sufficient level of evidence, can result in significant delays. For this reason, it is important that you ensure your application is of the highest standard prior to submitting it. It is advisable to work with an immigration lawyer who can proofread your passport application and provide suggestions for improvements if necessary.
Since Brexit, there have been record numbers of UK nationals applying for Irish passports. However, with this has come a spiralling number of rejections. It was reported that the Irish government refused 15,074 British applications for Irish passports in 2017. This was an increase of 1,499,900% on 2016.
This was typically due to those applying not holding Irish citizenship or failing to provide the correct information and documentation. To help speed up the processing time and avoid your passport application being rejected, you must make sure that your application is of the highest standard and that you meet the eligibility criteria.
In typical circumstances, acquiring an Irish passport from the UK can take approximately six to ten weeks.
It is important that you allow yourself plenty of time before you are due to travel.
How do I get an Irish passport by descent?
If one of your parents is an Irish citizen and was born in Ireland, you do not need to apply for Irish citizenship. You are automatically considered an Irish citizen and can simply apply for an Irish passport.
If you were born outside of Ireland and are entitled to Irish citizenship by descent, but your parents have not registered you on the Foreign Births Register, you must claim Irish citizenship by registering.
It can take up to six months to register on the Foreign Births Register and only after you have been registered will you be able to apply for your Irish passport.
If you are confused about your citizenship status or eligibility for an Irish passport, our dedicated immigration lawyers in Ireland can assist you. We offer a prestigious Application Package which allows us to prepare, complete and submit applications on your behalf.
Contact IAS Ireland today on +353 (0) 615 180 25.