All Irish citizens are entitled to be issued with an Irish passport. An Irish passport allows the holder to travel internationally and is evidence of a person’s Irish citizenship and also citizenship of the European Union. In a recent international survey, the Irish passport was ranked as sixth in the world.

Holders of Irish passports are entitled to visit 186 countries without obtaining a pre-entry visa in advance. The Irish passport ranks above the United States and the United Kingdom on the Henley passport index so for such a small country, it is a very powerful travel document.

Who can apply for an Irish Passport?

  1. If you born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005 you are an Irish citizen and are therefore entitled to apply for an Irish passport.
  2. If you were born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005 you are entitled to Irish citizenship and to apply for an Irish passport if:
    1. Either of your parents is an Irish citizen;
    2. If either of your parents was a UK citizen at the time of your birth;
    3. If neither of your parents were Irish or UK citizens but have lived in Ireland for three out of the four years prior to your birth and have the right to live in Ireland or Northern Ireland without any restriction on their residence;
    4. If either of your parents were granted refugee status prior to your birth;
    5. If you were born in Ireland however are not entitled to citizenship of any other country.
  3. If you were born abroad to a person who was born on the island of Ireland you are automatically an Irish citizen and can apply for an Irish passport.
  4. If one of your grandparents was born on the island of Ireland you may become an Irish citizen. However, in order to do so you must first register on the Foreign Birth Register and once you are registered on this you can then apply for an Irish passport.
  5. If your great grandparent was born on the island of Ireland and your parent was registered on the Foreign Birth Register prior to your birth you are also entitled to apply for Irish citizenship and subsequently an Irish passport.
  6. If you are not an Irish citizen but are adopted by an Irish citizen parent then you are entitled to Irish citizenship and to apply for an Irish passport.
  7. If you are a person who is granted Irish citizenship by way of naturalisation, you can apply for an Irish passport once they are awarded their certificate of naturalisation.
  8. If you are granted Citizenship through a special declaration, i.e.  where a person born on the Island of Ireland from 2 December 1999 and 31 December 2004 to a foreign national who at the time of the individuals birth was entitled to diplomatic immunity within the state or a person born between 2 December 1999 and 31 December 2004 born in Irish sea or air space to a foreign national, in a foreign ship or in a foreign aircraft.

How to apply for an Irish Passport

Irish citizens who are resident in

  • Ireland,
  • Northern Ireland,
  • Great Britain,
  • the European Union,
  • Iceland,
  • Liechtenstein,
  • Norway,
  • Switzerland,

can apply for a first-time passport and/or renewal using the online passport service.

For Irish passport renewals, all Irish citizens, regardless of their country of residence, can renew their passport book, renew their passport card, or apply for their first passport card online using the passport online service.

Irish citizens who are applying for a passport for the first time and who are not resident in the above countries should contact their nearest Irish embassy or consulate for a passport application form.

Irish citizens residing in the Republic or North of Ireland who do not wish to use the online passport service can submit their application via the passport express service. This service is available through post offices in the Republic of Ireland and over 70 post offices in Northern Ireland.

The online passport renewal service is the fastest and cheapest method of applying for and renewing an Irish passport when a person is eligible to use this service. It is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Applicants residing in Ireland may also make an appointment to attend the public counter at the passport offices located in Dublin or Cork city.  This is an appointment-based service only, with limited daily appointments.

Irish citizens are required to apply for an Irish passport in the country in which they reside. So, if a person is in Ireland for example on holiday, they cannot apply for an Irish passport unless they are ordinarily resident in Ireland.

Irish Passport Card

The passport card is available to all Irish citizens who hold a current valid Irish passport book. A passport card is issued for a maximum of five years or it will match the expiry date of a person’s passport book if there are less than five years remaining on the passport book.

A passport card can be used to travel to the 31 countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area in addition to Switzerland.  The passport card is a convenient method of travel for persons who do not wish to carry their Irish passport book when travelling. A person can apply for an Irish passport card using the online passport service.

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