Learn how to apply for an Irish passport before Brexit is finalized

As Brexit looms, many people in the UK have begun to wonder if they can get an Irish passport in hopes of retaining some of the EU-centric rights that may disappear for British citizens.

One of the largest concerns for many British people is whether or not they will be able to freely move around the EU as they do currently after Brexit is finalized. Many see obtaining an Irish passport as a way of holding on to that perk.

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According to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, in order for a British person to apply for an Irish passport, they must meet certain requirements:

  • If you were born in the Republic of Ireland or Nothern Ireland before January 1, 2005, you are entitled to an Irish passport
  • If you were born in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland after January 1, 2005, you are entitled to an Irish passport depending on your parents’ citizenship at the time of your birth and the residency history of at least one of your parents before your birth
  • If you were born outside of Ireland to parents or grandparents who were born in Ireland, you are entitled to an Irish passport
  • If one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth but was not born in Ireland, you may be qualified
  • If one of your parents obtained Irish citizenship through Naturalisation or Foreign Birth Registration before you were born, you may qualify

If you meet the qualifications, you will have to produce the below materials in order to apply for an Irish passport. 

  • Your birth certificate
  • A marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Proof of entitlement to Irish citizenship if born abroad
  • Photo identification, e.g. driver's license
  • Proof of name, e.g. payslips
  • Proof of address, e.g. utility bill
  • 4 passport photographs, 2 of which must be signed on the back by your witness

At this time, first-time applicants cannot apply online and will have to visit a consulate or embassy to obtain the application paperwork. The application for a standard 10-year Irish passport costs £71. From the UK, it takes from six to 10 weeks to process and around four weeks from Ireland.

The DFA does note that “A UK exit from the EU does not change anything regarding entitlement to Irish citizenship.”

“Only Irish citizens may hold an Irish passport, but it is not necessary to have an Irish passport to be an Irish citizen,” says the DFA.

Read More: British citizens rush to claim Irish passports as Brexit nears

The DFA also added that “There is no urgent need therefore for UK passport holders (whether based in the UK or elsewhere) to look into applying for an Irish passport at this time.”

“Potential applicants should take time to establish the facts in relation to their entitlement.”

Despite this, there has already been a marked surge in British applications for Irish visas since the 2016 Brexit vote. In 2015, there were 46,000 applications which grew to 81,000 in 2017. 2018 is on pace to see the highest number of applications ever.

Are you living in the UK and applying for an Irish passport? Share your experience in the comments