How to get an Irish passport
Or why you need to be nice to your Irish grandparents!
If you were born outside of Ireland and either your mother or father (or both) was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, then you are entitled to Irish citizenship.
If you have been a permanent resident in Ireland, you can try to become a citizen through naturalization. You will need to have lived permanently in Ireland for the previous five years, be over 18 and not have a criminal record.
But let’s face it – living in Ireland for five years is a lot of effort just to get that Irish passport. A much better way to get an Irish passport is to have at least one Irish grandparent. And by Irish, we mean an Irish grandparent who was or is an Irish citizen.
What to do next?
After getting an Irish grandparent, the next thing to do is to call an Irish consulate and ask them to send you an application form. There are Irish consulates in most of the major U.S cities. They should also be able to advise you on getting the right documentation in order for your application.
You will also need: Your grandparent's certificate of marriage; your parents' birth and marriage certificates; and an original death certificate for any of these relatives who have passed away. If the grandparent is deceased, you’ll need to show a certified copy of their death certificate, and if alive, a current official I.D. (such as a driver’s license or passport.)
To access the Irish documents, it will help you to know as much information about where and when your Irish grandparent was born, which may involve some genealogy research.
If one of your parents is Irish, and you would like to get an Irish passport, the process is easier. You need: their marriage certificate; a current official I.D; a copy of their death certificate if your Irish parent has passed away, a full long-form birth certificate of your Irish parent, showing your grandparents’ names, places of birth and ages at birth.
You will also need: your own long-form birth certificate; documentation to show that you have changed your name, such as a marriage certificate, if this has happened; a notarized copy of your current passport, and at least three other notarized copies of proofs of identity, one of which must be a photo I.D; a bank/utility statement with your current address; and two signed passport photos.
Once you have established your Irish citizenship – which can take up to 18 months to process – you can apply for an Irish passport. This can take up to six weeks to process and you can do this through your nearest Irish consulate.