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Would I Be Able to Apply For an Irish Passport?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 11 Feb 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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[Add a Comment]
@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
I have British passport. I was born in Belfast in 1960. My husband is South African, born 1963. We lived in SA unti 2007,when we moved to Northern Ireland where my family are. He has indefinite leave to remain ILR since +_ 2010.Is he able to get Irish passport instead of British?
Lois - 3-Feb-19 @ 1:59 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
@Gorbals - If your grandfather was born in ROI then you are entitled to apply to register on the foreign births register after which you will you obtain Irish citizenship. Once you become an Irish citizen you can apply for an Irish passport.
TJ. - 23-Jan-19 @ 9:08 AM
Hi forgot to mention my Grandfather was Born in Sligo ROI.
Gorbals - 23-Jan-19 @ 3:59 AM
Born Gorbals Glasgow. Married to my husband 41yrs. He was born in Belfast NI. Came to Glasgow 1974. Can I Apply for Irish Passport. I’ve always stayed in Glasgow.
Gorbals - 23-Jan-19 @ 3:51 AM
@Tilly - You are not entitled to an Irish passport because you are not an Irish citizen. You can only apply to register as an Irish citizen on the foreign births register if your mother registered as an Irish citizen before you were born.
TJ. - 15-Jan-19 @ 10:46 AM
Hi my great grandparents on my mother's side were born in Ireland my grandmother & mother were born in the UK, can I apply for an Irish passport?
Tilly - 14-Jan-19 @ 11:04 PM
Hi, I have lived in Northern Ireland since 1972 but I was born in New Zealand my mother was born in Northern Ireland can I apply for an Irish passport please?
DC - 9-Jan-19 @ 9:54 PM
My great-grandfather was born in Co Antrim in 1841. My grandfather was born in Paris in 1866 as his father (my great-grandfather) was there for 20+ years representing an Ulster company. He returned to Ulster and spent most of his life in Belfast and died there in 1920. My father was born in China in 1906 as his father was there (for 25 years) as a missionary, my father also returned to Ulster, as an infant,and died there. In both cases their births are registered in the UK Overseas Births Registers but not in Dublin (both were born before 1921).I was born in London but adopted in Belfast in 1944 as an infant.I registered this adoption in Dublin in the 1990s. Can I claim Irish citizenship?
David C - 29-Dec-18 @ 11:36 PM
I am a UK citizen, and married my wife (whose mother and father were both born to Northern Irish parents in Northern Ireland) 2 years ago. We live in England and have a 1 year old child who was born here, as were my wife and I.As far as I know, none of my grandparents were Irish or born there... Can I assume that my wife and daughter are both eligible for an Irish passport and citizenship? What about me? Would I be eligible if she becomes an Irish citizen? Many thanks for your help!
BM - 23-Dec-18 @ 11:56 PM
My father and grandfather were both born in Northern Ireland.I was born in England.Can I apply for Irish citizenship?
SMcC - 13-Dec-18 @ 3:08 PM
I have lived with my Irish partner for years.We have four daughters.Would I be entitled to an Irish passport.My partner believes I will.
Nelly - 22-Nov-18 @ 10:11 PM
@Kangu21 - You cannot apply for Irish citizenship through residency in Northern Ireland or by marriage unless you live in the Irish Republic.
TJ. - 20-Nov-18 @ 5:45 PM
Hi, I live in Belfast and currently hold a UK ILR,and I'm married to an Irish citizen. I have a 3-years old also hoping an Irish passport. Can I get an irish citizenship based on having irish associations? Thanks!
kangu21 - 14-Nov-18 @ 9:52 PM
Hi there, both my grandparents were born in Ireland c. 1920 but are now deceased. They moved to England in the 60's and lived the remainder of their lives there. As their grandchild am I able to apply for an Irish passport? Thanks for any guidance you can offer.
PJ - 14-Nov-18 @ 9:03 AM
@davmal3663 - NI is part of the UK and therefore residency there does not count towards attaining Irish citizenship. Your children and wife are however Irish citizens as they were born in NI
TJ. - 13-Nov-18 @ 10:54 AM
I was born in England but married a woman born in NI, both my Children were born in NI (1993 & 2000) I have lived in NI with my wife since 1992.Can I apply for an Irish Passport and citizenship?
davmal3663 - 11-Nov-18 @ 9:16 PM
Hi there, both my grandparents were born in Ireland c. 1920 but are now deceased. They moved to England in the 60's and lived the remainder of their lives there. As their grandchild am I able to apply for an Irish passport? Thanks for any guidance you can offer.
PJ - 1-Nov-18 @ 2:59 PM
@emc - You are entitled to Irish citizenship but you will need to register on the Foreign births register before you can apply for an Irish passport. Any children you have that are born before you register are not eligible for Irish citizenship at all.
TJ. - 21-Oct-18 @ 2:46 PM
Hi there, all my grandparents are Irish and my mum and dad were born in England. My dad had an Irish passport before I was born and is currently renewing it again now. Can I apply for one or do I have to register as a citizen before?
emc - 19-Oct-18 @ 9:59 PM
@Cyclist - You are an Irish citizen by descent and your mother is an Irish citizen by birth. You are both entitled to apply for Irish passports.
TJ. - 16-Oct-18 @ 5:49 PM
Hi.My mother was of Irish descent and was born in Bangor, Northern Ireland.Can I apply for an Irish passport on this basis?.I was born and live in the UK. Does your parent have to have been born in the republic to enable you to obtain an Irish passport?
cyclist - 16-Oct-18 @ 4:33 PM
Hi i wass born in rep of ireland now live in england my children are british can i apply for a irish passport for them. We live in england
Sabrina - 13-Oct-18 @ 3:41 PM
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