About the Irish passport
The Irish passport is one of the most sought-after identifiable documents around the world. Not only does it open up bounteous travel and work opportunities, but it grants holders visa-free travel to over one-hundred other countries. Those with an Irish passport are further able to reap the benefits of frictionless mobility of the EU member states across the European continent.
Inevitably 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 a registered 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 can the IAS help?
At the IAS, our expert and accredited lawyers specialise in immigration and nationality law. With over 50 years of experience in the field between our professionals dotted across the UK and Ireland, you can rest assured that your application is in the best hands.
As soon as you ring our client care team, you will be assigned an appropriate 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 fill your application for you to the highest standard. Your IAS lawyer will check 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 custom-make an advice or application session with a lawyer to suit you and your needs.
What is the application process in acquiring an Irish passport?
To apply for an Irish passport, you can either fill in a form online 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. First-time applicants originally were barred from applying online, however, as of November 2019, this was lifted and new applicants are able to apply just as easily.
Alternatively, those who are hesitant in using the online system may prefer to send their application by post. In this event, it is best to opt for an internationally tracked envelope or send your submission with a reputable courier service that can easily be tracked. The Passport Service cannot be held responsible for application packages which become lost.
All paper applications are handled by offices located in Cork, Ireland but you can have your application sent by Passport Express which has offices scattered 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, not to mention this service is more expensive than applying online or via post.
If you opt to have your form posted to you or you choose to collect it from your local police/Garda station, you should bring the application with you when you meet with your IAS immigration lawyer.
What are the general rules and requirements to meet the standards of the application?
The application to receive an Irish passport involves submitting reams of evidence and supporting documents to uphold your claim.
Generally speaking, the requirements to be met in your application 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 which varies depending on the type of citizenship granted
- 4 photographs of yourself
- Notarised consent by parents/legal guardians for under 18s
- Utility bills, bank statements or forms of government correspondence
Arguably, proving your identity is the highest hurdle to surpass. This is because you must have a witness who is of some form of authority to verify your identity, including signing and dating 2 of your 4 photographs.
Further still, you cannot submit one document and expect it to satisfy your proof of age, identity and address. You need evidence that addresses each requirement specifically.
The type of citizenship you have impacts the type of application and evidence you need to submit. 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 jeopardise your entire application.
What are the processing and waiting times?
Since the Irish passport is one of the most desired pieces of identity documents in the world, the Irish State takes applications very seriously and with great scrutiny. This is to eliminate the risk of fraudsters and scammers taking advantage of the route.
As a result, it could take significant time before you receive your passport once you have sent off for your application. It is best not to book any travel or accommodation arrangements until you have been approved and have received your physical passport.
The Passport Service recommends that applicants plan for at least six weeks for their passport application to be processed. Online applications, by contrast, should take no longer than 20 working days.
If shipping an application via Passport Express, applicants should expect to wait for at least 20 days as peak seasons where higher volumes are applying for their passport for travel or holidaying can cause serious delays due to the sheer volume of applicants.
First-time postal applications from the UK can take a minimum of 30 working days to process.
How much does the Irish passport application cost?
The fees to obtain an Irish passport vastly 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.
What evidence needs to be included 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 immediate Irish citizen. However, the Irish Embassy won’t just send you a passport and your certified documentation. You have to register and apply for this right. If you haven’t already, this may involve registering with the Foreign Births Register and seeking Irish Citizenship prior to progressing your Irish passport application.
Gaining citizenship through descent vastly differs from citizenship gained by naturalisation. In line with this fact, 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 pillar in acquiring an Irish passport, it is crucial 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:
- 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 needs to be included for a child’s Irish 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
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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 have little chance at securing 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 for some reason 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 need to 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 that is 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.
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 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.
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