Irish Passport

“I have a question in regards to applying for an Irish passport.  I am a naturalized American citizen, having lived in the U.S. for some time.  I was born and raised in Ireland until the age of 18, and then emigrated to the U.S.  What are the requirements to apply for an Irish passport?  I have an American passport, Irish birth certificate and Irish marriage certificate.   Please advise as to whether this is a possibility.”

It most certainly is a possibility. As you were born in Ireland you will always be considered by the Irish government to be an Irish citizen, regardless of any other citizenships you acquire. (Of course, there are ways to formally renounce Irish citizenship, but that’s another column.)

It’s always been an old wives tale among the Irish that becoming a naturalized American citizen will result in loss of Irish citizenship. Nothing could be further from the truth. Though you left Ireland many years ago and have made a life here, you are every bit as Irish as the day you left, and as such you’re entitled to the rights an Irish citizen enjoys, including passport ownership.

You can find out the particulars of obtaining a new Irish passport for yourself at the website of the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C., You’ll be able to obtain your passport at one of the Irish consular posts in the U.S., depending on where you live.

The process will be simple for you. You’ll need to present your Irish birth certificate or your most recent Irish passport as proof of your Irish citizenship. The site allows for downloading a sample of the passport application form, APS2E, and the questions are routine.

The passport application fee is $112. Irish passports are free for those aged 65 and above. Expect to wait four to six weeks for processing.

Using U.S. Passport

“I RECEIVED my U.S. citizenship in 2006, after marriage to an American citizen that took place in 2000. (We waited a while before starting the process). We are now in the middle of a divorce. I am 44 years old and would like to return to Ireland. Will I still be able to use my American passport for traveling? Is the passport tied to payment of U.S. taxes? I had heard that I won’t be able to renew the passport if taxes aren’t paid?”

Your U.S. passport will remain valid for use regardless of the length of time you remain outside the U.S. That’s one of the chief benefits of acquiring U.S. citizenship. 

If your travel does not involve a U.S. leg -- for instance, if you were going from Ireland to, say, France -- you could use your Irish passport which would make clearing immigration easier, as both France and Ireland are members of the EU.
Payment – or non-payment – of income taxes has no bearing on your continued right to own a U.S. passport. There is no truth to what you heard about not being able to renew a passport based on failure to pay tax. 

The renewal process is straightforward, and the paperwork does not ask for evidence of tax compliance. When the time comes you’ll be able to renew your passport at the American Embassy in Dublin, if you are still resident in Ireland.