Important Changes to Citizenship Application Process, Extension or Irish Residence Permits and suspension of Re-entry visas for Children under 16.

Applicants for Irish citizenship will no longer be required to submit their original passport with their initial application under changes coming into effect from next year. Instead, they can provide a full colour copy of their entire passport, including the front and back covers. The colour copy must be witnessed by a solicitor and submitted with the application form.

The move is one of a number of changes.

A further change will see the introduction of a “scorecard approach” to prove identity and residency. For doctors working in the HSE or voluntary hospitals, the provision of a medical practitioner employment history summary will be accepted as proof of residence.

Irish residence permit (IRP) cards which were in-date at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 will have their validity period extended to 15 January 2022.

Re-entry visa requirements for children under the age of 16 with a legally resident parent or guardian have also been suspended over the same period.

The Department has announced that arrangements are being made to return all passports by the end of the year. Applicants who intend to travel between now and the Christmas holidays and will require the use of their passport to do so, may wish to consider waiting until the New Year to make their citizenship application when the new arrangements will apply.

Sinnott Solicitors welcome those small changes and we hope that it will make the application process more efficient. If you require any advice or assistance in relation to any Immigration matter, Sinnott Solicitors would be happy to hear from you at our Dublin or Cork offices. or email us with your queries at

November 2021