Obtaining Irish Citizenship / Irish Passport [Print]  [Home]
The following article was provided by one of our members and reformatted for easier reading.


This guide is offered as a reference to obtaining Irish Citizenship/Irish Passport. All the information within this guide was either obtained through Internet sources, the Irish Consulate and/or personal access to documentation actually used to gain Irish Citizenship and ultimately an Irish passport. Some of the manual may be repetitive due to the use of multiple sources.


For anyone considering undertaking this process you should plan several weeks of waiting in between the different requests for documentation, applications, processing as well as ultimately receiving your citizenship certificate starting first with the process of registering and obtaining a Foreign Births Registration Certificate (FBR). Once you receive your FBR certificate, you are then eligible to apply for an Irish passport. Keep in mind that these are two separate processes (applications), the former being the more time consuming and the latter being almost comparable to obtaining a U.S. Passport with but with more “in transit” time due to the passport being issued from Dublin.


The Irish Consulate you utilize will ultimately be your “go between” and source for obtaining the FBR certificate and ultimately your Irish passport. Additionally once all documentation is obtained for the FBR application you will need to schedule an appointment with the Irish Consulate for review of your documentation. More on this later.


By the way, this isn’t free! The cost for application and entry in the FBR is: $165.00. and the cost for an Irish passport is: $95.00


Why Apply?


Can you think of a better way to honor your Irish family heritage than by becoming an Irish citizen? If you have at least one parent, grandparent or, possibly, a great-grandparent who was born in Ireland then you may be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship. Dual citizenship is allowed for many countries, including Ireland and the United States, and once you become an Irish citizen any children born to you (after your citizenship is granted) will also be eligible for citizenship. Citizenship also allows you the right to apply for an Irish passport which grants you membership in the European Union and the right to travel, live or work in any of its fifteen member states: Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Keep in mind the number of Member States is increasing!

Advantages to holding Dual Irish Citizenship / Irish Passport

  • You can live, work, or study in Ireland.
  • You can retire to Ireland where medical costs are a fraction of the cost in most other countries. An Irish passport allows you access to any of the Member States of the European Union (EU).
  • You can live and work in any Member State. As an increasing number of North American and other International companies conduct business in the European Union an Irish passport would allow you to live, work, study and retire in any of these member states.
  • Dual Citizenship allows you to be proud of your Irish past while acknowledging your own native born allegiances.


Who Can Apply


Irish Citizenship by Birth
Anyone born in Ireland, except for children of parents holding diplomatic immunity in Ireland, are automatically granted Irish citizenship. You are also automatically considered an Irish citizen if you are born outside of Ireland to a mother or father who was born in Ireland. A person born in Northern Ireland after December 1922 with a parent or grandparent born in Ireland prior to December 1922 is automatically an Irish citizen.

Even if you always assumed that your grandparents were English, you might want to check their birth records to learn if they really meant England - or if they were possibly born in Ulster, the province which is Northern Ireland. Although occupied by the British, the Irish constitution claims Northern Ireland to be part of the Republic of Ireland, therefore most people born in Northern Ireland prior to 1922 are Irish by birth. If this applies to your parent or grandparent, then you are also considered to be an Irish citizen.


Irish Citizenship by Descent
The Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1956 provides that certain persons born outside of Ireland may claim Irish citizenship by descent. Anyone born outside Ireland whose grandmother or grandfather, but not his or her parents, were born in Ireland may become an Irish citizen by registering in the Irish Foreign Births Register (FBR) at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin or at the nearest Irish Embassy or Consular Office.


There are also certain limited circumstances where you may be eligible to obtain Irish citizenship through your great-grandmother or great-grandfather. This can be a bit complicated, but basically if your great-grandparent was born in Ireland and your parent used that relationship to register as an Irish Citizen by Descent by the time of your birth, then you are also eligible to register for Irish citizenship. Citizenship by descent is not automatic and must be acquired through application.

Getting Started


How to Apply for Irish Citizenship by Descent


The first step in applying for Irish citizenship is to determine if you are eligible – as described above. Citizenship by descent is not automatic and must be acquired through application.


How to Apply for Irish Citizenship
To apply for registration in the Foreign Births Register you will need to submit a completed and witnessed Foreign Birth's Registration form (available from your local Consulate) along with supporting original documentation outlined below. The cost of this application is approximately 127€ (Euro) - payable by certified check or money order - plus the cost of registered mail, at the time of this writing. Prior to application, you should contact the Consulate to determine the current cost in your local currency. Expect it to take anywhere from 3 months to a year to have the Foreign Birth registered and the citizenship papers sent to you however do not be discouraged by this estimate. Once I had all documentation it took me approximately six months to register in the FBR and obtain my Irish passport!


Required Supporting Documentation:


Note: Do not be discouraged if you are missing items listed below! Many documents can be reproduced through internet sources. I was missing an original marriage certificate from my grandfather however simply going online and supplying the names of my grandparents and where they were born provided the service enough to locate and reproduce a certified marriage certificate to allow the process to continue. Mind you there are fees for this. This example cost me $56.00.


For your Irish born grandparent:


  1. Marriage certificate
  2. A current official photo I.D. (e.g. drivers license, passport) for the Irish born grandparent. If the grandparent is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate is required.
  3. Full, long form civil Irish birth certificate. Baptismal registers may be used to establish the grandparent's date of birth if he/she was born prior to 1864, or with a search certificate from the General Register Office of Ireland stating that no Irish civil birth certificate exists.


For the parent from whom you are claiming Irish descent:


  1. Marriage certificate
  2. A current official photo I.D. (e.g. drivers license, passport). If the parent is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate.
  3. Full, long form birth certificate of the parent showing your grandparents' names, places of birth and ages at birth.


For you:


  1. Full, long form birth certificate which shows your parents' names, places of birth and ages at time of birth.
  2. When there has been a change of name (e.g. marriage), supporting documentation must be provided (e.g. marriage certificate).
  3. Notarized copy of current passport (if you have one)
  4. Notarized copies of three additional proofs of identity, one of which must be a photo I.D. (e.g. drivers license).
  5. Copy of a bank statement/utility bill showing your present address.
  6. Two recent passport-type photographs which must be signed and dated on the back by the witness to section E of the application form at the same time as the form is witnessed.


All official documents - birth, marriage and death certificates - must be original or official (certified) copies from the issuing authority. It is important to note that church certified baptismal and marriage certificates may be considered only if submitted with a statement from the relevant civil authority that they were unsuccessful in their search for a civil record. Hospital certified birth certificates are not acceptable. All other necessary supporting documents (e.g. proofs of identity) should be notarized copies of originals.


Once you have or know you can obtain the documentation you should obtain an application for the Foreign Births Registry.

Note: The application itself also outlines all procedures to properly fill out the form.


Contacting the Irish Consulate (see list) either by writing or by email is acceptable to obtain your FBR application. I found email very effective. (In fact I requested the application on a Friday and found it in the mail on the following Tuesday)



How to Apply for an Irish Passport:


Once you have established your identity as an Irish citizen, you are eligible to apply for an Irish passport. For more information on obtaining an Irish passport, please see the Web site for the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland.


( from the Internet)




In order to apply for an Irish passport, you must be an Irish citizen. Passports in Ireland are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (through the Passport Office).


If you are an Irish citizen living abroad and you are applying for an Irish passport, you will need to get the appropriate application form from the Irish embassy or consulate in the country in which you are living. You can also request these forms here (see 'How to apply' below).


Your passport is an important legal document. At all times, you should ensure that it is kept in a secure place. Each Irish passport carries a unique identification number and you should keep a note of your number, in the event that your passport is lost or stolen.


Passports for Minors


Since 1 October 2004 all children, regardless of age, must obtain an individual Irish passport in their own name. However, parents' passports issued before 1 October 2004 on which children have been included remain valid and do not need to be replaced. Children who are included on a parent’s passport issued before 1 October 2004 may continue to travel to most countries up to their 16th birthday along with that parent providing the passport is still valid. There are, however, some exceptions. These include the Czech Republic, which requires persons aged 15, and over to carry their own passport and Estonia which requires all persons aged 7 and over to carry their own passport. If you are in any doubt, check with the Embassy or Consulate of the country concerned before you travel.


Children under 3 can apply for a 3-year passport, and children between 3-17 can apply for a 5-year passport. The parental consent section (Section 7) of the form must be signed by both parents or guardians each time a new passport is issued for a child. Every application for a passport of a child less than 18 years must be accompanied by the full birth certificate showing the names of the child's parents. See ('How to apply' below). View more information on passports for children of unmarried parents here. View more general information on passports for children here.


Biometric passports


Under the United States visa waiver program, participating countries must move to full production of biometric passports by 26 October 2006. This means that if you wish to travel to the US under the visa waiver scheme, and your passport is issued after 26 October 2006, it must contain biometric information. Irish passports produced before this deadline will not be affected, and will still be valid for travel to the US under the visa waiver program. They must, of course, be machine-readable passports to be valid for travel to the US.


The new biometric passport will contain an embedded microchip, which will contain the digitized facial image and personal details of the passport holder as they appear on the data page. The microchip can be read electronically at border controls. The new passport incorporates a number of important security features. A special code is used to write data to the microchip, the chip is protected by a secure electronic key, and an additional access code guards against electronic eavesdropping or skimming of information on the microchip.



Validity of Irish passports


All EU citizens have the right to enter and live in the territory of another member state of the EU for up to three months. You simply present a valid passport or national identity card: no other formality is required. EU countries cannot set additional conditions concerning the minimum validity or duration of the identity card or passport. Basically this means that your passport doesn't have to be valid for say, 6 months before you are allowed enter another EU country.


Irish citizens traveling to destinations outside the EU are subject to the specific passport controls and requirements of those countries. This means, for example, that when you are traveling outside the EU your passport may need to be valid for a certain period. The arrangements vary from one country to another so contact the relevant Embassy of the country before you travel for the most up-to-date information on these requirements. We cannot advise on the requirements of any country - contact the embassy directly.




You must be an Irish citizen in order to be eligible for an Irish passport.


Replacement Irish passports are no longer being issued. (This means, for example, that if you have married and wish to change your name, or if your Irish passport has been damaged or lost), you must apply for a new Irish passport.


Passport Photographs


  • Two identical photographs of the passport holder must be included with each application. They should be signed on the back by the person who witnesses the application, including the form number shown in Section 9 of the application form.


There are strict standards in place governing passport photographs as follows:

  • Photographs should be not more than 6 months old
  • They may be in color or black and white
  • They should not exceed 35mm X 45mm in size
  • The photograph should show a full front view of the subject’s head, as he or she would normally appear
  • The image must be sharp and clear, and taken against a plain white background
  • Sunglasses are not acceptable. Tinted glasses may be worn provided they do not obscure the person's eyes
  • Photographs should not show military or police uniforms


Photographs must be of good clear quality as set out above. Otherwise, they will be unsuitable for inclusion on the passport and will be returned to you.


Tip: Two passport size photos are required and these have to be authorized by a witness such as a priest, doctor, head teacher, lawyer or policeman who knows the applicant. Authorization entails simply signing and dating the photos.

I would recommend two sets of two (four (4) photos total) if you plan to obtain a passport after receiving your FBR certificate.



The current rates to apply for an Irish passport are:


  • Standard 10 year, 34-page passport: 75 euro
  • Standard 10 year, 34-page passport, for people aged 65+: Free (since 1 August 2005)
  • Large 10 year, (66-page) passport: 100 euro
  • 5-year passport (children aged 3-17 years): 25 euro
  • 3-year passport (available to children under 3): 15 euro
  • Public counter urgent fee (in addition to the basic passport fee): 50 euro for an adult and 25 euro for a child
  • Emergency service administration fee (in addition to the basic passport fee): 100 euro for an adult and 50 for a child


Fees for Passport Express services are 7 euro per application. An Post also offers a 'Family Application' option at a special rate of 12 euro. For 'Family Applications', you may enclose up to 4 application forms. This fee includes postage to/from the Passport Office. The Passport Express service through UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland and the UK costs £5.50.


The cost of an Irish passport is the same for all Irish citizens. If you are an Irish citizen living outside Ireland and are applying for a passport through your Irish embassy or consulate, there may be additional administrative costs or handling charges depending on where you live. Check this in advance with the Irish embassy or consulate in the country in which you are living.


You can pay for your Irish passport through Passport Express, at a Passport Office public counter, by ordinary post, or through your nearest Irish embassy or consulate abroad. If you are paying by check, it must be in euros and be drawn on an Irish bank.

If you are using An Post's Passport Express service, you should pay the passport application fees and the extra Passport Express fee directly to An Post, either by cash, check or Laser debit card.


If you are applying in person at the Passport Office in Dublin or Cork, you can pay by cash, check, credit or Laser debit card, postal order or bank draft.

Checks, postal orders and bank drafts enclosed with ordinary postal applications should be made payable to the Passport Office. You can also pay by credit or debit card on an ordinary postal application. For security reasons, you should not include cash with a postal application.


How to apply


For security reasons, Irish passport forms are NOT AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD ONLINE. You may pick up a form from the Passport Office, from any Irish consulate or embassy abroad or you may order a form online below.


Irish citizens living in Ireland: send completed application form (APS 1) directly to one of the passport offices, located in Dublin and Cork, or via the "Passport Express" service operated by An Post. Remember to include the correct fee and other items mentioned above. Use this form if applying for a new, renewal or replacement passport.


Irish citizens living abroad: complete application form (APS 2) if you are living outside Ireland or Northern Ireland. You can also get an application form for an Irish passport at any Irish embassy or consulate. If you are in England, Scotland or Wales, your nearest embassy/consulate is listed under Great Britain. Send the completed application form to your nearest Irish embassy or the passport offices in Dublin or Cork. Use this form if applying for a new, renewal or replacement passport.

In all cases, you will need to return the appropriate application form with the appropriate fee as well as two approved-size passport photographs signed by the witness of identity identified on your particular form, proof of your Irish identity and your most recent Irish passport.


Lost Irish passports


Complete Section 6 of form APS 1 (if you live in Ireland) or APS 2 (if you live abroad). This form must be witnessed at a Garda (police) station or by a police officer in the country where you live abroad. Submit the form along, together with your original full birth certificate, photographs and fee as normal. (View detailed information on how to replace a lost or stolen Irish passport here).


Applying for a child's passport


Children aged up to 3 years can only apply for a 3-year passport. Again, you must complete the appropriate section of form APS 1 (if the child is an Irish citizen living in Ireland) or APS 2 if the child is an Irish citizen living abroad). Include the child's original long-form birth certificate. As outlined previously, the application form must be witnessed by an eligible person, e.g. Garda/police, doctor, school principal/or vice principal (teachers are not acceptable).


Children aged between 3 and 17 years can only apply for a 5-year passport. Again, APS 1 or APS 2 as appropriate must be completed if this is a first-time application. If you are renewing a child's passport, again forms APS 1 or APS 2 should be completed. The child's original long-form birth certificate must be included with each subsequent passport renewal.


Child aged

Passport duration

Forms to complete


Up to 3 years

3 years only

APS 1 (Ireland) or APS 2 (living abroad)

15 euro

3-17 years

5 years only

APS 1 (Ireland) or APS 2 (living abroad)

25 euro


Processing times for Irish passports


If you call in person to any of the Passport Offices here in Ireland, your application will take a minimum of two weeks to process. If you require a passport more urgently than this, you may be required to show proof of travel (e.g. airline tickets). There is an extra charge for the urgent service - 50 euro for an adult and 25 euro for a child.

In cases of genuine emergency, the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs can issue passports of restricted validity. Examples of such emergencies are (a) situations of substantial distress such as the deaths or funerals of relatives abroad (b) urgent business abroad, particularly where Ireland is the beneficiary or (c) marriages abroad or where a partner in a couple going on honeymoon finds a passport to have been lost or mislaid. There is an extra charge for the emergency service - 100 euro for an adult and 50 euro for a child.


If you make your application by ordinary post, you should allow 4-5 weeks for your passport to be processed.


Applying through the 'Passport Express' service operated by An Post ensures that properly completed applications will be processed in 10 working days.


Where to apply


If you currently live outside Ireland, you should apply to the Irish embassy or consulate in the country in which you live.

If you live in Ireland, you can apply directly to the passport offices in Dublin or Cork or to the nearest post office that carries the 'Serviceplus' logo.

The Passport Office,
Setanta Centre,
Molesworth Street,
Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 671 1633
Lo-Call (from outside Dublin): 1890 426 888
Lo Call (from Northern Ireland): (0845) 850 4321
Recorded information is available on (01) 679 7600 or Lo-Call (from outside Dublin) 1890 426 800.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Closed at weekends)
The Passport Office,
1a South Mall,
Tel: (021) 494 4700
Lo-Call (from outside the (021) area): 1890 426 900
E-mail: passportcork@dfa.ie

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Closed at weekends)


Which Irish embassy or consulate should I contact?

If you're in the United States, you can choose one of the following.
               Embassy of Ireland
               2234 Massachusetts Ave.
               Washington D.C. 20008
               tel. (202) 462-3939
               fax. (202) 232-5993
               Consulate General of Ireland
               Ireland House 
               345 Park Avenue - 17th Floor
               New York, NY 10154-0037
               tel. (212) 319-2555
               fax. (202) 980-9475
               Consulate General of Ireland
               535 Boylston Street
               Boston MA 02116
               tel. (617) 267-9330
               fax. (617) 267-6375
               Consulate General of Ireland
               400 North Michigan Ave.
               Chicago, IL 60611
               tel. (312) 337-1868
               fax. (312) 337-1954
               Consulate General of Ireland
               44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3830
               San Francisco  CA  94104
               tel. (415) 392-4214
               fax. (415) 392-0885  
               If you live elsewhere or you want more detailed information,
               you could try looking at




Links to Internet Sites


Irish Government Site






Commercial Internet Sites





Irish Citizenship Consultancy
 3 Ashford Cottages,
Contact us by telephone at 00353-86-827 4886.


General Citizenship Information




Passport Information








Irish Passport

  Irish Citizen

 Irish Times

  Irish Record



Related Resources:

Request Vital Records

Guide to Irish Vital Records

Introduction to Irish Genealogy


Irish Genealogy Links


Moving to Ireland?