FAQ: Can I Get An Irish Passport?

Michael Thorpe
22nd February 2017

As the UK is heading towards a future outside of the EU, many British citizens are looking for a way to retain their right to freedom of movement throughout Europe. For those with Irish relatives, the question we hear most frequently is: “can I get an Irish passport?” Since the Republic of Ireland is not part of Great Britain, their status in Europe will not change following Brexit.

The process of leaving the EU could take up to and over two years, so there is no urgent need to apply for an Irish passport. During the two-year negotiation period, British passport holders will continue to enjoy freedom of movement throughout Europe. However, if you would like to ensure you are still able to live and work throughout Europe regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, you may wish to apply for an Irish passport now.

Can I get an Irish passport?

If you are of Irish heritage, you may be eligible for an Irish passport regardless of where you currently reside. If you were born outside of Ireland but either of your parents are Irish citizens then you are entitled to Irish citizenship and an Irish passport under Irish law. It doesn’t matter where you currently reside, it only matters than one of both of your parents were born in Ireland and can prove their Irish citizenship.

You could also qualify if one or both of your parents obtained Irish citizenship through Naturalisation of Foreign Birth Registration before you were born. Irish citizenship is passed to the next generation provided your parent was an Irish citizen before you were born. If you’d like to know more about getting your Irish passport, get in touch with our team today.

Can I get an Irish passport if I was born in Northern Ireland?

The EU referendum outcome doesn’t change anything about current Irish passport rights. As the law stands at the moment, if you were born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005 then you are entitled to Irish citizenship. If you were born after 1 January 2005, then your eligibility will depend on where your parents were born. If they were born in Ireland, then you will also qualify for Irish citizenship.

Can I get an Irish passport if I’m a British citizen settled in Ireland?

If you would like to apply for Irish citizenship then you will need to go down the Naturalisation route. If you are married to an Irish citizen then you may be eligible for naturalisation. You can also apply for naturalisation if intend to continue living in Ireland and meet other criteria. You can find out more about the naturalisation process here.

How long will it take to get an Irish passport?

First-time applications will take longer than renewals because of the extra security checks, so you should allow up to eight weeks to get your passport. There is likely to be a surge in demand at the Irish passport office following the UK’s exit from the EU, so Irish citizens hoping to renew their passports should also allow plenty of time and avoid sending their passport for renewal within eight weeks of travelling.

Will I have to give up my British passport?

Under Irish law, you do not have to give up citizenship of another country in order to hold an Irish passport. You can hold dual citizenship, provided your other country of citizenship also allows this.

How do I start the process?

If you would like more information about securing your Irish citizenship, you can get in touch with our team today. They will guide you through the process for claiming Irish citizenship and applying for your first Irish passport.