- How to apply for an Irish passport
- Irish passport requirements
- What are the processing times?
- How much does it cost?
- How to prove Irish citizenship for an Irish passport
- What evidence do you need for a child’s passport application
- Who can be a verified witness for my passport application?
- How can I get a fast track Irish passport
- Frequently asked questions
Applying for an Irish passport
The Irish passport is one of the most sought-after passports in the world. Not only does it open up travel and work opportunities, but it grants holders visa-free travel to over 188 countries. Those with an Irish passport are also able to reap the benefits of free movement throughout the EU.
Since its desirability is high, the Irish passport can be difficult to procure. Applicants must tick an array of boxes and submit a portfolio of evidence detailing their statutory right and entitlement to an Irish passport.
The first qualifying criteria involves proving that you are an Irish citizen. If you aren’t yet a recognised Irish citizen, the Immigration Advice Service is able to establish this right for you too and then can continue to assist you with your passport application.
How to apply for an Irish passport
To apply for a passport, you can either fill in the Irish passport application form using the Passport Online service, send off your application via post (Passport Express) or meet someone in person in a Passport Office counter service. Applying online is the recommended route as it is the fastest and cheapest.
It is possible to apply by post (but not recommended). Passport Express is the best way to get a fast track Irish passport. You can track your application using the Irish passport tracker.
All paper applications are handled by offices located in Ireland but you can have your application sent by Passport Express which has offices across the UK including Glasgow and Liverpool. In these centres, you can pay for your passport fees.
In addition, applicants may be able to attend a meeting in the Consulate of Ireland or have an appointment at the Passport Office. However, this option is not recommended for first-time passport applicants as the counter services are mostly for urgent renewals or lost passports. This service is also more expensive than applying online or via post.
Irish passport requirements
To apply for an Irish passport, you must submit relevant evidence and supporting documents to uphold your claim.
Generally speaking, the Irish passport requirements involve proving your age, your address and your identity. This can be achieved with:
- Official photo identification such as a passport, driver’s licence or national ID card from another country
- Evidence of your Irish citizenship (the documents required will depend on the type of citizenship you have)
- 4 photographs of yourself
- Notarised consent by parents/legal guardians for under 18s
- Utility bills, bank statements or forms of government correspondence
To prove your identity, you must have an eligible witness in a position of authority to verify your identity, including signing and dating 2 of your 4 photographs.
You are not permitted to submit one document to satisfy your proof of age, identity and address.
You must provide separate documents to satisfy each requirement individually.
It is important to note that the Passport Service only accepts original documents which must be supplied with your application.
Photocopies, laminated copies and short-term birth certificates which do not mention your parents’ identities will not be accepted and may result in your application being refused.
The type of citizenship you have will impact the type of application and evidence you need to submit.
If you hold Irish citizenship through descent, naturalisation, or marriage, or you were adopted by an Irish citizen, the information you submit will vary depending on your circumstances.
To maximise your chances of a speedy and successful application, you should ensure that you have all the evidence ready to submit with your application.
It is advised to apply for your passport at least six weeks in advance of your intended date of travel to avoid disappointment.
What are the waiting times?
Simple adult passport renewals take approximately ten working days from the date of submission of the application.
Complex renewals (including all children) and first-time passport applications can take between six to eight weeks.
The Passport Service recommends that applicants plan for at least six weeks for their passport application to be processed.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been delays to the passport processing time. Current turnaround times can be viewed on the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website.
Irish citizens may apply for a first-time passport or renew using the online service if they are resident in one of the below regions:
- Northern Ireland
- Great Britain
- the European Union
- New Zealand
- United States of America
It is recommended not to book any travel or accommodation arrangements until you have been approved and have received your physical passport.
How much does the Irish passport application cost?
The fees to obtain an Irish passport depends on the type of passport you require and how you intend on shipping the application to the appropriate authoritative body.
For a standard 10-year passport that holds 34 pages, the fees are:
- €75 (+ €5 postage if you live outside Ireland) to process the application by Passport Online
- €80 (+€9.50 postage fee) to process the application by Passport Express
- €95 to have your application assessed in person
For a large 10-year passport that holds additional pages of up to 66, the fees are:
- €105 (+ €5 postage if you live outside Ireland) to be processed by Passport Online
- €110 (+€9.50 fee) to process the application by Passport Express
- €125 to have an application assessed and verified in person
In addition, you may wish to make a Family Application where you can send up to 4 passport applications all at once in one tracked envelope. This service costs €16 in addition to your choice of posting.
How to prove Irish citizenship for an Irish passport
The Irish State considers all those who were born on the isle of Ireland before 1 January 2005 to be an Irish citizen. However, must register and apply to your nearest Irish Embassy if you live outside Ireland.
This may involve registering with the Foreign Births Register and seeking Irish citizenship before making an Irish passport application.
Gaining citizenship through descent is different from citizenship gained by naturalisation. Irish citizens applying for a passport for the first time must submit the proper documentation that supports their existing status.
Since proving identity is a key part of acquiring an Irish passport, it is crucial that applicants send the correct evidence.
In addition to the general evidence that needs to be submitted, applicants must also consider the following:
If you gained Irish citizenship by your birth parents:
- You need to supply your Irish born parent’s civil marriage certificate which includes both of their names.
If you gained Irish citizenship by descent:
- You need to submit your Foreign Birth Registration certificate
If you gained Irish citizenship by naturalisation (e.g., citizenship through marriage)
- You need to submit your Naturalisation certificate and
- An original or certified copy of your passport from your country of birth
Contact us on (+353) 061 518 025 for more information.
What evidence do you need for a child’s passport application?
Because under 18s cannot complete Irish passport applications on their own, they require legal consent and additional witnesses to verify their identity.
Alongside the general requirements to be met, proof of parent’s citizenship is the main crux of a children’s passport application.
If the child was born in Ireland before 1 January 2005:
- You will need the child’s civil birth certificate which includes the name(s) of the parent(s)
If the child is the offspring of an Irish citizen but was born abroad before or after January 2005:
- You need the child’s civil birth certificate which includes the name(s) of the parent(s) and;
- Proof of the parent’s citizenship using birth certificates or passports and;
- The parent’s civil marriage certificate (if married)
If the child has gained citizenship by descent, i.e. through their grandparents:
- A full civil birth certificate is required and;
- The child’s original Foreign Birth Registration Certificate
If the child has gained citizenship by naturalisation:
- The full civic birth certificate must be submitted and;
- The Naturalisation Certificate and;
- If born outside of Ireland, the original or copy of the child’s passport from their country of birth
Who can be a verified witness for my passport application?
Your IAS immigration lawyer can act as a witness to confirm your identity.
In addition, you could ask:
- A police officer/Garda Síochána officer
- A solicitor
- A postal official
- A school principal/vice principal/school secretary (etc) for children
- A member of the clergy
- A medical doctor or nurse
- A bank manager/assistant bank manager
- An elected public representative
- A notary public/commissioner for oaths
- A peace commissioner
- An accountant
- A dentist
- A vet
- A physiotherapist
- A lecturer
- A pharmacist
- A chartered engineer
It is important to note that your application is only active for six months once your witness has signed your documents.
Your chosen witness must know you to a certain degree personally and must be satisfied as to you or your child’s identity and be contactable.
How can I get a fast track Irish passport?
The fastest way to get an Irish passport is using the Passport Online system. If you are submitting a postal application, the fastest way is using the Passport Express system. Both of the options are explained in further detail below.
Fast track online applications for Irish passports
If you are applying for an Irish passport online, the fastest way is to use the Passport Online system. Most applications are completed in between five to ten days, while first-time applicants usually take 20 days.
We are sometimes asked if you can get a same-day Irish passport. Unfortunately, passports cannot be issued on the same day.
However, if you need to travel urgently, you may be able to apply for an emergency travel document. Contact your local Irish Embassy if you are an Irish citizen living abroad.
If you are living in Ireland, you can contact the passport office for further support.
Fast track postal applications for Irish passports
You can get a fast track Irish passport by applying through Passport Express Ireland. This is the fastest way for you to get your Irish passport by post. If you apply for a fast track Irish passport through this system, you can receive your new passport in ten days (for most applicants).
If you are applying from Ireland, you can submit your application at the post office using the special passport express envelope. When you pay, your receipt will contain the passport tracking number so that you can check your status online.
If you are applying from Britain, you should get the passport application form from one of the following places:
- Your nearest Irish centre in Great Britain
- The Passport Office London
- Consulate of Ireland, Edinburgh
- Contact the Embassy of Ireland, Great Britain and they will post it to you
Next, bring your completed form to one of the designated post offices in Glasgow or Liverpool, buy a passport express envelope, and submit your application.
Contact us if you need urgent support or advice with your Irish passport application. Call (+353) 061 518 025 for immediate help.
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You are automatically considered an Irish citizen if you were born on the isle of Ireland before 2005 or if your parent was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth but you were born outside of the country before 2005.
However, this doesn’t mean that if you were born after 2005 that you cannot apply for Irish citizenship. It just means that you will have to register this right and apply for your status.
The IAS can help you to achieve citizenship status whether it be via naturalisation, descent, birth or through marriage.
If you cannot send original copies of your birth certificate and other important documents in your passport application, you can send a copy. However, this copy must be certified by a witness who fills out Section 9 of your application form.
Your IAS immigration lawyer will be able to act as your witness and verify your documents and identity for you.
If your parent is British, in addition to the supporting evidence you have to submit you must also provide an original passport belonging to the parent. Alternatively, if your parent was born in the UK before 1 January 1983, you can submit a copy of their original Long Form Civil Birth Certificate.
If your parent is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you must provide details of their citizenship and that they are or have lived in Ireland for three to four years prior to your birth. This can be satisfied with an original of their EU passport, national identity document or driver’s licence.
They should fill out Declaration Form A/B which is simply a sworn statement of their residency. They must also provide proof of their residency through documents such as P60s, tax documents, statements from the Department of Social Protection.
If your parent is a foreign-born national from outside of the EEA, EU or Switzerland, you must provide evidence of your parent’s permission stamps to reside in Ireland and/or their GNIB card alongside original or copies of their passports.
In addition, you must supply Letters from the Department of Justice and Equality which grants permission to remain in the state and a signed statement from your parent.
In addition to the other evidence all passport applicants need to submit, those who have been adopted require submitting a handful of additional documents to support their claim.
If you were adopted but were born abroad, you will need to submit:
- Your Intra-Company Adoption Certificate
- Proof of Irish citizenship of your adoptive parent(s) at the time of your adoption
If you were adopted by an Irish citizen and were born in Ireland, you will need:
- Your verified Adoption Certificate
At the IAS, our expert and accredited lawyers specialise in immigration and nationality law. With over 50 years of experience between our professionals dotted across the UK and Ireland, you can rest assured that your application is in safe hands.
You will be assigned a dedicated immigration lawyer to handle your case. You might choose a one-on-one advice session or a comprehensive application rundown in which your lawyer will complete your application to the highest standard.
Your IAS lawyer will assess your immigration status, document and map your immigration history (including your permission stamps) and ultimately verify that you meet the qualifying criteria for an Irish passport.
If you intend on travelling soon, you may prefer to opt for a fast-track service where your case will be treated as a priority to shorten the turn-around time.
Ring us today on (+353) 061 518 025 to see how we can provide a tailored advice or application session with a lawyer to suit you and your needs.