- Eligibility for Irish passport
- Irish citizenship through descent passport requirements
- Passport requirements for people adopted by Irish parents
- How can naturalised citizens apply for an Irish passport?
- Ireland Passport photo guidelines
- What happens if a certificate of naturalisation is revoked?
- Irish passport requirements for children
- Frequently asked questions
Requirements for an Irish passport
If you wish to apply for an Irish passport it is essential that you meet specific requirements.
Before applying for an Irish passport, you must have acquired Irish citizenship.
The requirements for an Irish passport change depending on your personal circumstances and the way in which you have become an Irish citizen.
You may have acquired Irish citizenship through naturalisation, descent, birth, adoption, or through having refugee status.
Therefore, each situation requires that you meet unique criteria.
All individuals are required to provide the following when applying for an Irish passport:
- Full Irish birth certificate
- Civil marriage/partnership certificate (if applicable and you have changed your surname)
- Proof of address
- Proof of full name
- A copy of your Public Services Card (or your original government-issued photo identification)
If you are resident in Northern Ireland or abroad, you must also provide either your original passport, national ID card, social security card or a certified copy of your driving licence.
With an Irish passport, you are able to travel abroad and travel freely throughout the 27 countries in the European Union. As well as this, you can live and work without restriction in Britain under the Common Travel Area (in most cases).
This page outlines all the Irish passport requirements that you need to know.
For comprehensive advice, guidance and assistance with your passport application, call our team of experienced immigration lawyers on (+353) 061 518 025.
Who is eligible for an Irish passport?
If you were born on the island of Ireland prior to 2005, you are automatically considered an Irish citizen, including those who were born in Northern Ireland.
This is the case even if your parents don’t hold Irish passports.
However, if you were born in Ireland after 2005, you are only entitled to citizenship if one or both of your parents is either:
- British (or entitled to live in Northern Ireland/the Irish State without restriction on their residency)
- A foreign national who was legally resident in Ireland for three of the four years immediately prior to your birth
- Granted refugee status in Ireland
This is because a citizenship referendum in 2004 abolished the right to citizenship by birth.
If your parents are foreign nationals, they are required to prove that they have a genuine link to Ireland by demonstrating that they had spent the required reckonable residence in the State immediately before your birth.
Once you or your parent(s) have successfully claimed your Irish citizenship by birth or descent, you are able to apply for an Irish passport. You can apply for your first Irish passport if you are aged 18 or over (if you are under 18, you must have the consent of your parent(s)/guardian(s).
Irish citizenship through descent passport requirements
If either of your parents was an Irish citizen and was born in Ireland, you will automatically be an Irish citizen and can apply for an Irish passport regardless of where you were born. In this circumstance, you do not need to be registered in the Foreign Births Register to apply for a passport.
However, if either of your parents was born outside of Ireland or Northern Ireland you must have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register before you can claim citizenship and apply for your Irish passport. This applies even if your parents are Irish citizens.
If you are claiming your citizenship through a grandparent who was born in Ireland, you are entitled to apply for foreign birth registration and can subsequently apply for an Irish passport. This is the case even if your parents do not hold Irish passports.
In the event that you were born abroad to Irish-born parents, the following documents are needed for your Irish passport application (in addition to the general documents outlined previously):
- Your parent’s Irish birth certificate
- Your parents’ marriage or civil partnership certificate (if this is applicable)
Once you have been granted Irish citizenship by descent, you can apply for an Irish passport by providing your Foreign Birth Registration certificate and your original foreign passport (if available and applicable) along with the general required documents.
More information can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs page on citizenship for children born abroad.
Passport requirements for people adopted by Irish parents
If you were born abroad and adopted by an Irish citizen under Irish law, it is required that you provide the following Irish passport requirements (in addition to the general required documents outlined previously – see introductory paragraph):
- Your Intercountry Adoption Certificate (demonstrating your entry in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions)
- Proof of Ireland citizenship of adoptive parent at the time of adoption (birth certificate/Ireland passport)
If you were born in Ireland or Northern Ireland and adopted by an Irish citizen under Irish law, you must provide the following (in addition to the general required documents):
- Your adoption certificate
- Proof of Irish citizenship of your adoptive parent at the time of adoption (birth certificate/Irish passport)
If you are resident in Northern Ireland/abroad at the time of making your passport application, you must also provide your original passport, national ID card, social security card or a certified copy of your driving license.
How can naturalised citizens apply for an Irish passport?
If you gained Irish citizenship through naturalisation, you are entitled to apply for an Irish passport.
Since 16th August 2019, those who gain citizenship through naturalisation no longer need to register with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for a Public Services Card. Therefore, you may not need to provide a Public Services Card with your application for an Irish passport.
You must provide the following additional documents within your application for an Irish passport (along with the general required documents outlined previously – see introductory paragraph):
- Your original naturalisation certificate
- Your original foreign passport (if available)
You should have received your certificate of naturalisation after your application for naturalisation was approved. This should have been given to you at your citizenship ceremony – you are considered an Irish citizen from the date of issue of the certificate.
Only after you have attended your citizenship ceremony and received your certificate of naturalisation can you apply for a passport.
If you’re submitting a digital photo with your application, it must:
- Be in colour
- Not be scanned
- Be no smaller than 715 pixels wide and 951 pixels tall
- Be a JPEG
- Have no compression, loss, distortion or compression artefacts
- Not be digitally enhanced or changed
- Not be larger than 9 megabytes (9MB)
If you’re submitting a physical photo with your application, it must:
- Be between 35mm x 45mm and 38mm x 50mm
- Be printed on photo-quality paper at a high resolution
- Be in sharp focus and correctly exposed
- Have no ink marks or creases
- Have no digital enhancements or changes
In addition, the reverse of the photos must be white and unglazed.
Visual and Pose Specifications
Your photograph must also broadly adhere to the following restrictions. Note that this is not an exhaustive list – a full list of passport photo requirements can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFE) website.
- Facial features should be visible, with no dark glasses or glare on glasses lenses
- There must be no shadows
- The balance of lighting and colour should be even
- Your expression should be neutral and your head should not be tilted
- The photo must be shot from your head to your mid-torso
- The background must be plain light grey, white or cream, with no objects visible
What happens if a certificate of naturalisation is revoked?
Since those who acquire citizenship through naturalisation are required to provide a certificate of naturalisation when applying for an Irish passport, it is of the utmost importance that you retain this.
Your certificate of naturalisation may be revoked if:
- You obtained it through fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of circumstances/facts
- You have failed in your duty of fidelity and loyalty to the State
- You were ordinarily resident outside Ireland for a continuous period of seven years and did not register your name and a declaration of your intention to retain citizenship in Ireland
- You are also, under the law of a country at war with the State, a citizen of that country
- You have – for a reason other than marriage or registration of civil partnership – acquired citizenship of another country
An IAS immigration lawyer in Ireland may be able to help you in the event that your certificate of naturalisation is revoked.
We can assess whether you are eligible to appeal this revocation and can act upon this.
Contact us on (+353) 061 518 025 for more information.
Irish passport requirements for children
All children must have an individual Irish passport in their own name. This must be applied for by the parents of the child. The exact requirements when applying for a passport for your child is dependent upon individual circumstances such as where and when they were born.
If your child was born on the island of Ireland on or after 1st January 2005, your citizenship will influence their eligibility. If you are an Irish citizen, you must simply provide your birth certificate and passport.
However, if you are not an Irish citizen, you must also provide the following:
If you are an EEA/Swiss national:
- You must provide proof of reckonable residence for three of the four years immediately prior to the birth such as: tax records, any social welfare benefits, pay slips, utility bills etc.
If you are a non-EEA/Swiss national:
- Your passport with a detailed note indicating which pages contain immigration stamps covering the reckonable periods of residence
- Your Certificate of Registration
You may also be required to provide a Certificate of Nationality in respect of your child.
Last modified on October 13th, 2023 at 9:10 am
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You may be issued a certificate of nationality if you claim to be an Irish citizen but are not a naturalised Irish citizen.
You may only receive this certificate if it is deemed necessary, such as if you need to apply for an Irish passport.
If you are a non-EEA national who has lived in Northern Ireland for all or part of the three years’ residence required in order for your child to be granted citizenship, you will need a certificate of nationality for your Irish-born child when applying for their passport.
If you require assistance with your child’s application, get in touch with us today on (+353) 061 518 025.
The length of time it takes for your Irish passport application form to be processed can depend on your specific circumstances such as the way in which you applied, whether you are applying for a renewal or making a first-time application and where you are applying from.
For example, all application forms for a child’s passport are considered ‘complex renewals’ since the consent of all guardians must be verified.
First-time applications are, on average, processed within 20 working days. If you make a first-time application for an Irish passport from Britain, this currently takes around 30 working days to process.
For professional and reliable advice regarding your Irish passport, contact IAS on (+353) 061 518 025.
The Ireland passport requirements vary depending on your nationality. If you were born an Irish citizen, you will automatically be entitled to a passport. You will be required to submit the following to receive your first Irish passport:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of address
- Long-form birth certificate
- Civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you changed your surname)
- A government-issued photo identification document
If you are from Northern Ireland, or you were born in another country but hold Irish citizenship, you will be required to submit the following:
- Original passport, national identity card, social security card or a certified copy of your driving licence
If you became an Irish citizen through naturalisation, descent, or marriage, you may be required to submit proof of your citizenship status when applying for your Irish passport.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to submit further documents to receive your Irish passport.
If you legally change your name, you must apply for a new passport. It is not possible to apply for your new passport using the Passport Express online system for a name change. For an Irish passport name change, follow the steps below.
You must submit:
- Your most recent passport
- Two documents proving your identity (e.g., driver’s licence, pay slip, recent utility bill, bank statement, government-issued document, etc.)
First Irish passport
You must submit:
- Proof of identity (proof of name)
- Proof of address
- Long-form birth certificate
- Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate (where relevant)
- Long-form birth certificate and marriage certificate of your Irish-born parent (where relevant)
- Copy of photo identification
- Two documents to prove that you are using your new name (e.g., driver’s licence, university identification card, pay slip, utility bill, bank statements or official letter from a public or private sector organisation)
Most people will need a passport to go to Ireland. If you are not an Irish citizen, or you do not hold an Irish passport, you may also be required to hold a valid visa to enter the country (e.g., a Tourist Visa).
In most cases, British citizens travelling to Ireland will not need a passport because of the Common Travel Area rules which allow passport-free travel between Ireland and Britain. Currently, there are no passport controls between Ireland and Britain. However, you must bring a valid form of identification with you, and many airlines and ferries require you to bring passports, therefore it is advised to bring your British passport with you.
However, if you are from the EU, EEA, or a country outside the EEA area, you will be required to hold a valid passport and/ or visa to go to Ireland. In some cases, EU citizens can use a valid national identity card instead of a passport.
You do not need a passport to travel from Ireland to Northern Ireland, or vice versa. There is no land border or checkpoints between the two areas so you can travel freely from the south of the border to the north without presenting any travel documents.
However, as Northern Ireland is part of the UK, you must hold the appropriate visa for your circumstances if travelling from Ireland to Northern Ireland, or vice versa.
One of the conditions of being granted a visa for Ireland is that you agree not to breach the Common Travel Area by travelling to the UK without the appropriate visa permission.
IAS’ team of experienced, qualified immigration lawyers provide invaluable legal assistance with any immigration matter. This includes those who require help with the process of obtaining an Irish passport.
Whether you require advice or practical assistance with an Irish passport application, one of our dedicated immigration experts can help. Our range of comprehensive packages allows us to tailor our legal guidance to your specific needs.
For advice and a step-by-step guide detailing which actions you ought to take, our advice package would be ideal for you.
If you require help with the completion and submission of your passport application, our application package allows one of IAS’ immigration lawyers to undertake this task on your behalf. We have decades of experience in completing and submitting applications to achieve the results our clients desire.
If you would like to enquire about our unique packages, call us on (+353) 061 518 025.