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Would I Be Able to Apply For an Irish Passport?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 19 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
Irish Citizenship Passport Ireland


I was born in Northern Ireland in 1949, adopted in 1950 and I hold a British Passport. Can I apply for an Irish passport in my original unadopted name?

(C.T, 25 June 2009)


The ordinary rules for entitlement to Irish citizenship are that anyone born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005 is entitled to be an Irish citizen. An individual born outside of Ireland may be an Irish citizen by descent if one of their parents was born in Ireland and was an Irish citizen. British passport holders can generally hold dual nationality and are not required – under UK law – to give up their British nationality when they acquire the nationality of another country. However, some other countries do not permit their citizens to hold two nationalities.

Under the terms of the 1998 Belfast Agreement – often referred to as the Good Friday Agreement – those born in Northern Ireland have the right to be citizens of both the United Kingdom and Ireland. This right is recognised by the governments of both countries and the right will exist regardless of any future change in the status of Northern Ireland. This right is not, however, solely dependent on an individual having been born in Northern Ireland – or the island of Ireland. To have the right to hold the citizenship of both the United Kingdom and Ireland an individual must – at the time of their birth – have had at least one parent who was Irish, British or who had the right to live permanently in Northern Ireland.

Applications for an Irish passport are made using form APS1 or APS2 depending on whether the applicant is in or outside Ireland at the time of the application. Those who are not resident in Ireland at the time of their application should apply using form APS2. A copy of the form may be obtained from your local Irish Embassy or Consulate. In addition to sending in the completed form, which must be witnessed by an appropriate person, applicants for a first Irish passport must also provide the full version of their original Irish birth certificate, showing their parents’ names. The basic fee for an Irish passport application is €80.

If the application is successful, it should take between 4 and 6 weeks to obtain the passport. An express service is available, at an additional fee, for those applicants in Ireland, Northern Ireland or Great Britain. If applying by the express service, applicants not resident in Ireland should use form APS2E/G. Applicants resident outside Ireland may return their completed application to their local Embassy or Consulate.

An Irish passport issued under this procedure will generally be in the name that appears on the Irish birth certificate. In order to obtain a passport in a different name you would have to provide documentation explaining the change – such as an adoption or marriage certificate. As this website deals primarily with immigration to the United Kingdom, and because you are considering obtaining a passport in your pre-adoption name, it may be wise to obtain specific legal advice before making your application.

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My mother's stepfather was Irish. Can she apply for a passport?
Sandsy - 19-Apr-17 @ 4:10 PM
My step dad born in Republic of Ireland. I am UK citizen would I be entitled to become a Irish citizen.
Billy - 18-Apr-17 @ 11:38 PM
I am British and hold a British passport. However, as my father was Irish (born in Ireland in the 1930s) I am also an Irish citizen. I would like to apply for an Irish passport but I have several years left on my UK passport. I know that you cannot hold both passports simultaneously but can I relinquish my UK passport before it expires?
Joe - 14-Apr-17 @ 2:25 PM
Good morning i was born in England to English parents my mum is now {and has been} an Irish citizen for the last 20 years ans has an Irish passport would i be eligible to apply for an Irish passport under naturalisation?
IMM - 8-Apr-17 @ 8:19 AM
My Father was born (1907) in the Malone Road, Belfast. My Grandparents, his parents were living in Northern Ireland at the time. We had lived in Ulster for many generations. My mother (maiden name Cavan Lambart) was from the Republic of Ireland but I have no details of her birth. Would I - and my own Sons - be eligible to hold an Irish passport, even though I was not myself born in Ireland and nor were they? With my thanks. Robert Corbett.
Mick - 2-Apr-17 @ 6:27 PM
I was born in England but have lived in N.Ireland for over 33 yrs with my wife who was born here ,my grandmother was born in The Republic of Ireland but I have no details would I be eligible to hold an Irish passport
Bill - 20-Mar-17 @ 6:57 PM
I have my mother's birth certificate but when she came to England in 1938 she changed her name and birth date unofficially. And those are the details she put on her marriage certificate to my father and then on my birth certificate. Is there any way I can prove that my mother was the person on the original birth certificate so that I can get an Irish passport?
Val - 17-Mar-17 @ 9:15 PM
Hi . Im a citizen of UK living in Northern Ireland for 12 years. My friend told me I am qualifiedto apply for Irish passport. cos Ive been living over 5 years since I got UK citizenship and I wasn't born in island of Ireland so like. am I abel to get Irish Passport? Cheers~
B - 16-Mar-17 @ 3:33 PM
I am from England but living in northern Ireland since 1999. I have a family who all hold dual citizenship as they were born in northern Ireland . can I apply for a irish passport.
stu - 12-Mar-17 @ 2:16 PM
I am naturalised British married tonorthern Irish citizen can I apply for an Irish passport.
Lulu - 8-Mar-17 @ 12:44 PM
My father is Irishand now living in England ,my mother was English,, how would I go about applying for a dual passport ?
Mchall - 22-Feb-17 @ 10:46 PM
Hi I'm Polish, live and workin Northern Ireland from 2007 with my wife (she is Polish) Can we apply for Irish Citizenship?
Robin - 11-Feb-17 @ 1:16 AM
Hi! I live in uk but i m not british national my wife she is irish national and she live in uk. Can i apply the irish citizenship we married to years ago.
Sajj - 30-Jan-17 @ 10:14 PM
I'm British but have been living in the Republic of Ireland since 1997 so 20 years. I've 6 children who are all Irish and I'm married to an Irish citizen for 9 years.Can I apply for a Irish passport or do I have to pay for Citizenship first?
BeckyDean0 - 29-Jan-17 @ 11:13 AM
I'm from England born in 1990, I moved to Northern Ireland in 2001 an have been there ever since, am I entitled to apply for an Irish passport??
Laura - 27-Jan-17 @ 2:46 PM
I was born in the UK, however my parents divorced when I was very young and I became estranged from my father and his family. My Grandparents were both born in Ireland but I am unsure whether my father was. What documentation do I require (and any ideas about I would acquire it) to apply for Irish citizenship via my lineage?
Chris Mc - 17-Jan-17 @ 4:49 PM
My mother was born inNorthern Ireland in 1962 both herparents were from Northern Ireland. Can I apply for aIrishcitizenship or would my mother have to apply first before I can?
Newe - 14-Jan-17 @ 11:05 AM
If we migrate to southern ireland with a valid EU/UK passport as a person born in the uk....what will happen after Brexit? Will we still be allowed permanant residence in southern ireland ? Thank you Elaine Forrest
katz - 3-Jan-17 @ 11:56 AM
Hi My father was born in Belfast and moved to the uk in the early 70s. He has passed away and I doubt I would be able to obtain his birth cirtificate. Would I and my family be entitled to an Irish passport ? Thanks
Danny - 21-Dec-16 @ 7:14 AM
I livedin N.ireland since 1998 and become British citizen since 2003 my wife also British since 2005. Our kids are born in Belfast in 2005 and 2007 Can we all apply for Irish passport ??
Artur - 14-Nov-16 @ 5:21 PM
we have lived permanently in the republic of Ireland since 1999,my wife and myself are both English born,only my great ,Grandparents were Irishborn. Are we eligible for Irish passports. Thank you.
Mad Max - 7-Nov-16 @ 5:42 PM
My dad was born in Southern Ireland and I was born in Wales can I apply for a duel passport
Ned - 4-Nov-16 @ 12:44 AM
I am British born but my step father was from N.Ireland. I was formerly adopted in 1976 and had my name changed by deed poll. Am I eligible?
caleta - 14-Oct-16 @ 6:48 AM
I am a British woman. My step father was from Belfast, he bought me up and was married to my mother, Am I eligible to apply?
caleta - 14-Oct-16 @ 6:47 AM
I was born in London in 1983 biological parents both from Dublin. father not named on birth certificate biological mother now deceased. i was legally Adopted through Catholic children's society in 1984. My adoptive mother has a mother born in Ireland now deceased. Would I be able to apply for an irish passport? Would my son also be entitled to one? Many thanksC
Pollycat - 13-Oct-16 @ 7:56 AM
I have an Irish passport as my father was born in Ireland but I was born in Manchester England. If I have children are they entitled to am Irish passport?
Mairead - 1-Oct-16 @ 8:21 AM
Giulia - Your Question:
Hello,I am Romanian citizen who live in Northern Ireland from September 2012. I have a little boy was born in May 2014 here on the island. I want to apply for the Irish passport for my little boy. Are eligible?

Our Response:
Either you or the father would have to have Irish citizenship in order for you to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 20-Sep-16 @ 11:30 AM
Hello, I am Romanian citizen who live in Northern Ireland from September 2012. I have a little boy was born in May 2014 here on the island. I want to apply for the Irish passport for my little boy. Are eligible?
Giulia - 19-Sep-16 @ 1:17 PM
I have a British passport and lived in NI from late 2004 until March 2016 when I moved to Southern Ireland. My husband (we met in 2007, married in late 2015 but lived apart during the week until four months ago when I moved from Belfast to Bray where he has lived for more than 10 years) was born in NI and so has an Irish passport. Can I apply for one and do I need to apply for citizenship first? Many thanks
Tinywhirlwind - 17-Sep-16 @ 4:32 PM
I am married for 50 years to an irishman . Can I apply for an irish passport ?
Rosetta - 15-Sep-16 @ 11:30 AM
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