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Would I Be Able to Apply For an Irish Passport?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 11 Oct 2019 | 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.

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I am an Irish citizen living in Northern Ireland. My Wife of 24 years has lived in Northern Ireland since our marriage. Is she entitled to an Irish passport?
Jim - 11-Oct-19 @ 12:36 PM
I'm being living in North of Ireland 37 year and married to a girl from the North of Ireland for 35 year and have 2 children born here all have Irish passport. Am I Entitled to apply for a Irish passport.
Scotty - 10-Oct-19 @ 8:41 PM
I'm living in NORTH OF IRELAND 22 YEAR'S MARRIED TO A GIRL FROM NORTH OF IRELAND FOR 15 YEARS AND HAVE 3 CHILDREN BORN HERE AM ENTITLED TO AN IRISH PASSPORT
BUD - 29-Aug-19 @ 12:48 PM
Hi I am married to a girl born in Northern Ireland , we have been living together for 15 years in Northern Ireland, we have 2 children . Are we all entitled to apply for Irish passports? Many thanks
Sparx - 17-Aug-19 @ 9:49 PM
Hi, I was born in Northern Ireland in 1973 - my parents are both from Northern Ireland and I now live in Scotland. Can I apply for an Irish passport? Thanks Jaykay
Jaykay - 13-Aug-19 @ 11:08 AM
Hi. I was adopted in England by my Irish father. We have remained in England.I thought that I have the same rights as my siblings (all born of my Irish father) but when filling out an Irish passport application the options in section 3 are confusing. Do I declare myself as born abroad to an Irish parent or born abroad and adopted, in which case the adoption must be under Irish law?
Jules - 22-Jul-19 @ 12:39 PM
I was born in England. No live in NI, Co Down for five years. My Grandparents were born in Tipperary, but passed away many years ago, I only have some photo copies of a marriage cert and a death cert. Can I apply for an Irish Passport as I now live in NI? As I'm led to believe, that any other way is complexed and possibly long winded. Regards
Tel - 16-Jul-19 @ 11:02 PM
@Catweazle - If you were legally adopted in Ireland, then you are an Irish citizen and can apply for an Irish passport. If you were adopted in the UK, you are an Irish citizen but before you can apply for an Irish passport your adoption needs to be confirmed by the Adoption Authority of Ireland
TJ. - 14-May-19 @ 11:57 AM
@Bones - You are not eligible for UK citizenship since neither you or your parent was born or has lived in the UK. You are eligible for Irish citizenship but before you can apply for an Irish passport you will need to apply to be included in the Irish foreign births register. Any children you have will not be entitled to Irish citizenship if they are born before you apply to be on the foreign births register.
TJ. - 14-May-19 @ 11:50 AM
I was born in Scotland and adopted at 6 months. My adoptive Father was born in Co Down and I was raised by him and my Scottish mother as their only child. I found out by accident many years after their deaths about my adoption. Given that he was essentially my Dad and Irish does that a)make me an Irish citizen? and b)Can I apply for an Irish passport?
Catweazle - 13-May-19 @ 5:14 PM
Grandparents were born and married in Northern Ireland - Parents born and married in New Zealand - Son born in New Zealand and resides in Australia - and has both New Zealand and Australian passports - can he apply for either an Irish Passport or a UK passport..?
Bones - 13-May-19 @ 2:26 AM
@Jerry - You have no claim to Irish citizenship.
TJ. - 1-Apr-19 @ 4:56 PM
Hi, I was born in the UK to British parents my mother moved to Ireland when I was 3.5 and remarried an Irishman. I grew up in Ireland completed my leaving and then moved back and forth over the years until spending the last 14 years in the UK. Is there a pathway to claim dual Irish and British citizenship?
Jerry - 1-Apr-19 @ 10:11 AM
@KS1805 - Your father is an Irish citizen by birth and you are an Irish citizen by descent hence you are entitled to an Irish passport.
TJ. - 1-Apr-19 @ 8:53 AM
Hi Guy's Great advice on this site :) I was born to two Irish parents in 1974 and then adopted to an English couple in 1975. I have been brought up British , live in England and hold an British passport. Am i able to apply for an Irish passport ? if so , would it be ordinary application or something else ? I have the details of my Irish parents names , DOB cet Regards Jason
jase - 31-Mar-19 @ 9:10 PM
Although born to English parents, my dad was born in Derry. The family lived there for a short time before returning to Manchester. Would I be entitled to Irish citizenship?
KS1805 - 27-Mar-19 @ 9:54 AM
@Jjay - You should have applied for permanent residency and Irish citizenship while you were still living in the Republic of Ireland. Since you have been outside Ireland for more than two years it is likely that you have lost this opportunity. Residency in Northern Ireland does not count as this is part of the United Kingdom.
TJ. - 26-Mar-19 @ 2:28 PM
Hi there, I'm a British citizen, but worked in the Republic of Ireland from 2008-2014 on a continuous basis, living there. I then moved to Northern Ireland to work and have done so, from 2014-present day. Does that entitle me to apply for an Irish passport? I'm not sure if my time in Northern Ireland counts towards my time considered resident in Ireland. Thank you
Jjay - 26-Mar-19 @ 12:38 PM
@Dipthong - You are entitled to an Irish passport as you are an Irish citizen by descent however your children would need to apply for Irish citizenship first by registering on the Irish foreign birth's register.
TJ. - 25-Mar-19 @ 4:24 PM
My father was born in Belfast in the 1950s but as far as I know he did not specifically apply for Irish citizenship while living there (now moved away). He only has a British passport. I presume he is eligible for an Irish passport, am I also eligible (born in UK)? And my kids (born in UK)? Would we all need to apply for citizenship first? Thanks
Dipthong - 25-Mar-19 @ 2:58 PM
@Jayne - If you were not born in either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland and neither of your parents were born there then you are not an Irish citizen.
TJ. - 25-Mar-19 @ 9:06 AM
I have lived in Northern Ireland with my now husband since 1982.He has lived in Northern Ireland all his life, we married in 1997 and have 2 children.My hubby and son and daughter have all applied for Irish passports and I was wondering if I would be eligible also. Thanks for any info
Jayne - 21-Mar-19 @ 5:46 PM
@Lois - Northern Ireland is part of the UK. One cannot obtain Irish citizenship through their residency in the UK. You on the other hand are entitled to an Irish passport having being born in Belfast.
TJ. - 4-Feb-19 @ 11:28 AM
@Gorbals - You can use the the website link to find all the information you require. dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth/
TJ. - 29-Jan-19 @ 4:51 PM
@Gorbals - You will have to submit an online application and send the below documents. More information can be found on the Irish government's Foreign births website. dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/citizenship/born-abroad/registering-a-foreign-birth/ Your documents: 1. Original (long form) civil Birth Certificate, which shows parents’ details 2. Original civil Marriage Certificate, if applicable - church certificates cannot be accepted 3. Certified/Notarised copy of the photograph page of current passport or state issued identity document (e.g. Driver's Licence) 4. Three separate documents showing proof of address e.g. utility bill, bank correspondence, government correspondence. Your parent’s documents (through whom you’re claiming citizenship) 1. Original (long form) civil Birth Certificate, which shows parents’ details 2. Original civil Marriage Certificate, if applicable - church certificates cannot be accepted 3. Certified/Notarised copy of the photograph page of current passport or state issued identity document (e.g. Driver's Licence) original Death Certificate if deceased Your Irish-born grandparent’s details: 1. Original (long form) civil Birth Certificate, which shows parents’ details 2. Original civil Marriage Certificate, if applicable - church certificates cannot be accepted 3. Certified/Notarised copy of the photograph page of current passport or state issued identity document (e.g. Driver's Licence) original Death Certificate if deceased You need to submit four passport-sized photographs with your application. Fees 18 years of age and over Registration plus Certificate: €270 Non-refundable postage and handling fee: €8 Total: €278
TJ. - 29-Jan-19 @ 4:49 PM
@DJ - If you were not born in Northern Ireland and neither was your parent or grand parent then you are not entitled to Irish citizenship. Your children are however entitled to Irish passports if you are a British citizen.
TJ. - 29-Jan-19 @ 4:31 PM
I have lived in northern Ireland for 45 years both of my children were born here. Can I apply for an Irish passport? Daniel John Dixon
DJ - 29-Jan-19 @ 4:06 PM
Once again Tj Thank you for information you posted. What Documents do I have to Send?
Gorbals - 29-Jan-19 @ 10:02 AM
@Gorbals - You can definitely keep your UK passport even if you hold other passports
TJ. - 26-Jan-19 @ 10:48 PM
Thanks for the Reply. Can I also keep my UK Passport once I get my Irish Passport?
Gorbals - 26-Jan-19 @ 2:04 PM
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