Home > Ask Our Experts > Would I Be Able to Apply For an Irish Passport?

Would I Be Able to Apply For an Irish Passport?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 12 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Irish Citizenship Passport Ireland

Q.

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)

A.

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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
@Tina - you will only qualify for Irish citizenship if you live in Ireland with your husband. Time spent in Northern Ireland does not count for Irish citizenship purposes.
TJ. - 12-Feb-18 @ 7:25 AM
Hi ,I'm married to Irish citizen and we living in Northern Ireland,when I can apply for Irish passport ? Thanks
Tina - 11-Feb-18 @ 2:52 PM
@Lively Clive - If you were not born in NI or Ireland and neither of your parents or grandparents were Irish citizens then you are not entitled to Irish citizenship.
TJ. - 6-Feb-18 @ 7:28 PM
@Caro54 - If you were born in NI before 2005 you are an Irish citizen regardless of the status of your parents.
TJ. - 6-Feb-18 @ 7:26 PM
I was born in 1947, my wife 1949, we both hold UK passports and live in the UK. My wife's grandmother was Irish, so presumably my wife can apply for an Irish passport. Can I apply also as her husband?
Lively Clive - 6-Feb-18 @ 5:43 PM
Can I apply for Irish citizenship online? I was born in NI as we’re both of my parents.
Caro54 - 3-Feb-18 @ 5:31 PM
@Lee - Anyone born on the Island of Ireland before 2005 (Including NI) is an Irish citizen by birth. A child born to a parent who is an Irish citizen by birth is also an Irish citizen regardless of where they are born. You are most likely eligible for an Irish passport. Your father's birth certificate will be a crucial document however you can check citizens information website for more info.
TJ. - 31-Dec-17 @ 1:42 AM
Hi my father and grandparents were both born in NI then moved to UK they have all passed away in the last 10 years or so do I qualify to apply for an irish passport and if so what documents would I need to provide ? Any help would be welcome Lee
Lee - 30-Dec-17 @ 10:13 AM
@William - you should check if he had a change of name deed poll of some kind which is legal documentation needed for one to officially change their name. It is unlikely that he would have been able to operate his new name without this document.
TJ. - 27-Dec-17 @ 11:11 AM
Hi,my Irish born father changed his birth name when he moved to the UK in the 1950s. I cannot link his Irish birth name with his current surname that is on my birth certificate at 1973. Any ideas how I can prove they are the same person? It's so frustrating.
William - 26-Dec-17 @ 10:01 PM
@Thia Northern Ireland is part of the UK and not part of the Irish Republic. Children born in Northern Ireland are Irish citizens only if one of their parents was a British citizen at the time of their birth.
TJ. - 30-Oct-17 @ 5:30 AM
Hi, I'm an Indian passport holder & lived in Northern Ireland for 3.5 yrs on Tier2 General visa (visa issued by the UK) immediately before my child was born in Northern Ireland (all of the above was after 2010). Then immediately after that, our family moved to Australia. I took Indian passport for my child as we had to move to Australia urgently then. Now, we are all in Australia - can I apply for Irish passport for my child now ? I believe my child is eligible bcoz, I was legally resident in Northern Ireland for 3 out of 4 yrs before my child was born. Please help to advise. Thanks a lot.
Thia - 22-Oct-17 @ 9:22 AM
Hi, I have an Irish Passport, as I was born in NI in 1969, and a UK one. I have a 14 year old son, born in France, to my ex-partner (we never married), who has a French Passport. Can I apply for an Irish Passport for him? Can you hold a French and Irish Passport at the same time? Thanks for any advice...
JD - 22-Sep-17 @ 10:48 AM
I have been a resident in Northern Ireland for 8 years, am i eligible to apply for a Irish passport?
bcfcjjw - 17-Sep-17 @ 9:39 PM
Hi my 2 kids have a British passaport and I've live in north irland for 11 years can I apply for the Irish passart?
Mil - 31-Aug-17 @ 1:27 AM
I am a South African passport holder and I have indefinite leave to remain in the uk, Can I apply for a British and Northern Ireland passport and do I need to take life in the uk test? If not how long will it take me to get a passport.
Vee - 16-Aug-17 @ 3:19 PM
I've lived in Northern Ireland for 8 years and am apply for passport for me my partner and son. My partner and son were both born here but I was born in Scotland can I apply for an Irish passport.
Lynsey1 - 21-Jul-17 @ 10:10 PM
MILLZY- Your Question:
Hi I was woundering if I can apply for a Irish passport. My dad was born in Manchester, UK. He moved to Belfast and lived there for 6 years before immigrating to Australia he holds a British passport. My grandfather my dad's dad was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is Irish. Would it be possible? I was born in Australia and feel very proud of my Irish roots.

Our Response:
You may be able to apply for a ancestry visa if you wished to come to the UK for a period of time, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 21-Jul-17 @ 11:12 AM
Hi I was woundering if i can apply for a Irish passport. My dad was born in Manchester, UK. Hemoved to Belfast and lived there for 6 years before immigrating to Australia he holds a British passport. My grandfather my dad's dad was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is Irish. Would it be possible?. I was born in Australia and feel very proud of my Irish roots.
MILLZY - 20-Jul-17 @ 2:44 PM
My Maternal Grandmother was born in Belfast in 1906, She moved to South Africa when she got married and all her children were born in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was born in Northern Rhodesia in 1960 returned to SA in 1963. Have always been a South African citizen. Do I qualify for Irish Citizenship or passport ?
Deb - 2-Jul-17 @ 1:36 PM
Hi, I have acquired an Irish Passport as my Mum was born in N.Ireland. My husband is a UK National and has a British passport. We live in France. Is my husband able to get an Irish passport or does he have any EU rights as my spouse? TIA.
Cazals - 26-Jun-17 @ 11:47 AM
Both my Parents were born in Belfast but hold British Passports, I was born in Bali in 1994 both my grandparents hold Irish passports would I be able to apply though my parents as they were born on the Island of Ireland or would I have to apply through my Grandparents thanks
Callum - 23-Jun-17 @ 1:01 AM
Hi I m non eu my wife from eu national we live in Northern Ireland I have U.K. Visa last 3 years now we move in Ireland so my question how long after I appley Irish passport 2 years or 5 years
KumR - 21-Jun-17 @ 8:07 PM
I have my father's birth certificate but when he came to England in 1958 he changed his name andunofficially. And those are the details he put on hisvmarriage certificate to my mother and then on my birth certificate. Is there any way I can prove that my father was the person on the original birth certificate so that I can get an Irish passport?
Peter Tip. - 12-Jun-17 @ 7:26 PM
Hi i was born in czech republic and have been living in northern ireland near my whole life went to school and everything here can i apply for an irish citizenship or passport??
Tomas - 12-Jun-17 @ 1:52 PM
Hi my son was born in belfast but iam a uk citizen i know my son can apply for a Irish passport. I would really like to have a Irish passport but i don't know if i can?
L - 8-Jun-17 @ 5:37 PM
@Rusty you are an Irish citizen and you are entitled to an Irish passport.
TJ. - 7-Jun-17 @ 5:41 AM
Hi I was born in Belfast 1970 am I entitled to Irish citizenship and passport
Rusty - 5-Jun-17 @ 3:55 PM
My fathers parents from Connemara area I believe .they came to Scotland late 1800's. Can I apply for Irish passport ?
Bella - 30-May-17 @ 9:26 AM
I was married to a resident of N Ireland who was born in N Ireland. He is deceased. Can I apply for an Irish passport?
Sonia - 3-May-17 @ 4:31 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AboutImmigration website. Please read our Disclaimer.