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How to Get An Irish Passport By Descent

Obtaining an Irish Passport By Descent has a couple of key benefits. Not only does it give you citizenship of Ireland, but you will also become a citizen of the European Union (if you are not already a citizen of a member country).

For more information about an Irish Passport By Descent, including more details about the eligibility criteria and how to apply, as well as bespoke advice for your immigration situation, reach out to one of our Immigration Advice Service (IAS) legal advisers today. Call us on +44 (0)353 061 518 025. 

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    What It Means to Be An Irish Citizen

    Being an Irish citizen means that you hold citizenship of the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the European Union (EU). Irish citizenship has a number of rights and responsibilities.

    Rights of Irish citizens include:

    • The right to live and work in Ireland without restriction.
    • The right to vote in national and local elections in Ireland. In certain circumstances, you can also place your vote from abroad.
    • The right to pass on your citizenship to your children, even if they’re born outside of Ireland. However, note that there are specific rules around how this works and it does not apply in every case.
    • The right to access public services in Ireland, including services such as healthcare and education.
    • The right to travel freely within both the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).
    • Generally, the right to work in EU countries or Switzerland without a permit (although it’s always best to check the conditions of the specific country).

    Responsibilities of Irish citizens:

    • Obeying the laws of Ireland.
    • Paying Irish taxes.

    Can I Be a Dual Citizen of Ireland?

    Generally, Ireland allows for dual citizenship, meaning that you usually don’t have to give up citizenship of your current country. However, circumstances can vary depending on the specific country or countries where you currently hold citizenship, so it is best to seek more information from the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

    Also, it is advisable to check whether your country allows for dual citizenship.

    Who Is Eligible for an Irish Passport By Descent?

    Generally, you are eligible for an Irish Passport by Descent if you can prove that you have a direct ancestral connection to an Irish citizen, normally a parent or grandparent.

    Parental Irish Citizenship means that you can gain Irish citizenship if one of your parents is a citizen of Ireland, either by birth or descent. In other words, they were born in Ireland, had an Irish parent, or are registered as an Irish citizen in the Foreign Births Register. If you have one or more parents who are registered as Irish citizens by birth, then you are automatically a citizen.

    Grandparental Irish Citizenship means that you can gain Irish citizenship if one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen. Please note that your grandparent must be registered as an Irish citizen.

    Also, you must be able to prove these ancestral ties to the Irish citizens (either parents or grandparents) via the correct documentation.

    Note that you are not automatically a citizen if you have a grandparent who is a citizen of Ireland. Instead, you have to go through an Irish Passport By Descent application process.

    What If I Was Born in Ireland?

    If you were born on the island of Ireland on or before the 31st of December 2004 then you are automatically entitled to Irish citizenship, regardless of your ancestry.

    However, if you were born on the island of Ireland on or after the 1st of January 2005, then you were not necessarily granted what is known as ‘birthright Irish citizenship’. Instead, to be a citizen, you must meet one of the following conditions:

    • One or more of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth on the island of Ireland.
    • One or more of your parents was either a British citizen or had an unrestricted right to live in Northern Ireland at the time of your birth on the island of Ireland.
    • One or more of your parents had refugee status in Ireland at the time of your birth on the island of Ireland.
    • One or more of your parents was legally resident in the Irish State (except as a student or as an asylum seeker) for three of the four years before your birth on the island of Ireland.

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      Can I Get Irish Citizenship If My Great-Grandparents Were Irish?

      Having an Irish Great-Grandparent could qualify you to become an Irish citizen by descent in certain circumstances. It’s advisable that you discuss with an immigration lawyer to ascertain your eligibility for Irish citizenship through your great-grandparent. Contact us today by calling at +353 061 518 025 or submitting our contact form.

       

      Steps to Getting an Irish Passport by Descent—the Application Process

      Applying for an Irish Passport by Descent is a two-step process.

      The first step is to apply to be added to the Irish Register of Foreign Birth. Once this is approved, you will receive a certificate which you will need for your passport application.

      The second step is applying for the Irish passport itself.

      Documents required for the Irish Register of Foreign Birth

      • Your original civil birth certificate with your parents’ names.
      • A certified photocopy of your current state-issued identification (passport, driving licence, national identity card). Various companies, organisations, solicitors and notaries can certify photocopies for you.
      • Two original proofs of address.
      • Marriage certificate or change of name document (if applicable).
      • Four passport photos.
      • Proof that one parent or grandparent was an Irish citizen. You can prove this with one of the following items of documentation:
      1. i) Original civil birth certificate.
      2. ii) Original marriage certificate or change of name document (if applicable).

      iii) Certified photocopy of current state-issued identification (passport, driving licence, national identity card) or certified copy of death certificate if they are deceased.

      Note that if you are applying on the basis that your grandparent was born in Ireland, then you must also supply the same documentation for your parent who is an Irish citizen.

      Witnessing of Documents for the Irish Register of Foreign Birth

      You will also need to have your photos and a printed copy of your application form officially witnessed. Your chosen witness must be known to you personally and must also be a member of one of the professions listed on the Department of Foreign Affairs eligibility list.

      Your witness must sign a printed copy of your application form and also sign two of your passport photos. Additionally, they also need to stamp the printed copy of your application form with their official stamp. If they have no official stamp, then you should provide their business card along with your application.

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        Documents Required for Your Irish Passport Application

        • Completed identity verification form.
        • Original Irish Register of Foreign Birth Certificate or a certified colour copy (certified by a solicitor or notary public).
        • Full original civil birth certificate with the name of your parents.
        • Original civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable).
        • Official proof of address such as government correspondence, utility bills or bank statements.
        • Proof of name, for instance, original government correspondence (this cannot be the same document as your proof of address).
        • Photographic ID, such as:
          i) Original passport.
          ii) Original national ID card.
          iii) Certified copy of driving licence.
          iii) Certified copy of Irish driving licence.
          iv) Copy of front and back of Public Services Card.

        How to Apply for the Irish Foreign Births Register

        1. Check if you are eligible on the basis of an ancestral connection to Ireland.
        2. Gather the required documents, including official proof that one parent or grandparent was an Irish citizen. Note that if you are applying on the basis that your grandparent was born in Ireland, then you must also supply the same documentation for your parent who is an Irish citizen.
        3. Pay your application fee — €278 for adults and €153 for children.
        4. Submit your application form online via the Department of Foreign Affairs website.
        5. Await approval.
        6. If your application is approved, then you will receive a certificate confirming your registration in the Irish Register of Foreign Births. This is also your approval document for Irish citizenship.
        7. The next step is to apply for your Irish passport. Once you have that you can access the full rights of Irish citizenship.

        How to Apply for An Irish Passport

        You can apply for your Irish passport online via the Department of Foreign Affairs website or via a paper application. If applying online you must have all of your documents ready, as well as a digital photo and your bank card for paying your fee.

        As a first-time adult applicant, your identity must be verified by either a member of the police service in Ireland or a witness who is a member of a profession approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

        Irish Passport Application Stages

        1. If you have applied online, you will get a notification that your application has been received.
        2. You may receive an alert requesting additional supporting documents. Your application won’t proceed further until these are supplied.
        3. Once all documents have been provided, a government official will verify your application.
        4. If your application is approved, your passport will be printed and sent to you. Any documents that you supplied will also be returned separately.

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          Irish Passport Waiting Times and Fees

          Waiting times for a first-time Irish passport application can vary and it is always a good idea to check the Department of Foreign Affairs website for the most up-to-date information. Generally, you should allow around 20 working days for your application to be processed and passport sent to you.

          The costs of applying for a passport are as follows:

          • A standard 10-year adult passport is €75.
          • A large 66-page 10-year passport is €105.
          • A standard 10-year passport plus passport card bundle is €100.
          • A large 66-page 10-year passport plus passport card bundle is €130.

          If you are making your application from outside of Ireland then there will be a €15 postal fee for your passport delivery. Note that first time passport applications cannot be expedited for an additional fee.

          Irish Passport By Descent: The Bottom Line

          An Irish Passport By Descent is a good option for anyone with Irish ancestral connections to gain the right to live and work in the country.

          As Ireland is a member of the European Union, it also offers the added privilege of allowing you to travel freely through EU and EEA countries. You will also be able to live and work in EU countries without the need for a permit.

          How Can Immigration Advice Service (IAS) Help?

          Understanding the Irish immigration system can be complicated. Immigration Advice Service can help you with navigating an Irish Passport By Descent, as well as other citizenship routes.

          We are experienced, sympathetic immigration lawyers working within the field of international immigration. We have the tools and expertise to assist you, regardless of your personal circumstances or the complexity of your case.

          Whether you’re looking for assistance with Irish Passport By Descent requirements, or are unsure of how to navigate the application process, or just need to speak to an immigration professional regarding your case, we can help.

          For more information about the services we provide and how we can help you with Ireland immigration and work permits, please reach out to a member of our team today. Call us on +44 (0)353 061 518 025.or contact us online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Your children will only be eligible if they were born after you were entered into the Foreign Births Register. If they were born before you were added to the register, they will not be eligible.

                    Generally, if your spouse is an Irish citizen, then you could be eligible for an Irish passport. This process is known as naturalisation and is different from Irish Citizenship by Descent. In order to be eligible to apply for naturalisation, you will have to meet the current residency requirements of Ireland, which can change over time. You will also have to provide documentation to prove that you are married, for instance, a marriage certificate. You can check residency requirements for Irish naturalisation through marriage via the Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).

                    The Six Weeks Rule (which has now been relaxed) does not necessarily affect applications for Irish Citizenship By Descent. It is more associated with people already living in Ireland who are applying for Irish naturalisation. Essentially, it is a guideline recommending that people applying for Irish citizenship should not travel outside of Ireland for more than six weeks in the year preceding the submission of their citizenship application. It is not an official law. Also, this rule has now been relaxed and extended, so that people applying for citizenship can now be outside of Ireland for a total of 70 days in the year preceding their application. Also, under exceptional circumstances, they may also be allowed an additional 30 days outside of Ireland.

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