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. Individuals with an Ireland passport are also able to reap the benefits of free movement throughout the EU.
Since its desirability is high, it can be difficult to apply for an Irish passport. Applicants must tick an array of boxes and submit a portfolio of evidence.
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 passport application form using the Passport Online service, send off your application at the post office (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 through the post office (but not recommended). Passport Express is the best way to get a fast track passport. You can track your application using the Irish passport tracker.
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 if applying for your first Irish passport 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
As part of the application process, 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 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.
Current turnaround times can be viewed on the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website.
How much does it cost?
The fees to obtain your 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
How to prove Irish citizenship for a 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 your 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 apply for Irish passports by themselves, 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 Irish 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
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You can renew your passport online using the Passport Express system. By submitting the online application form with the fee, this is the quickest way to get your new document. In this way, you can renew your passport in ten working days (in most cases).
If applying for your first Irish passport, your application can take up to 20 days.
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 Ireland system.
Using the Passport Online system is the quickest way to get an Irish passport. Most applications are completed within five to ten days, while first-time applicants usually take 20 days.
If you apply for a fast track Irish passport through the post office, you can receive your new passport in ten days (for most applicants).
At the IAS, our expert and accredited lawyers specialise in immigration and nationality law.
You will be assigned a dedicated immigration lawyer to handle your case.
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.
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.