Central's guide to getting an Irish passport
why you need to be nice to your Irish grandparents!
KELLY FINCHAM, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer
Monday, August 1, 2011, 7:29 AM
Monday, August 1, 2011, 10:44 AM
Irish passport is one of the most sought-after travel documents in the
world. I have both Irish and English citizenship and have always used the
Irish passport in preference. It's kitschy but true; being Irish is seen as
being more, well, likable or something. The easiest way to get an Irish
passport of course is to be born in Ireland.
But, if you drew the short straw on that one, you're going to need an Irish
parent or an Irish grandparent.
If you have an Irish great-grandparent you need to satisfy the following
There are two circumstances under which a great-grandchild is eligible to
apply for Irish citizenship by descent:
1. If the parent (the grandchild of the Irish born person) registered
before the great-grandchild was born; or
If the parent (the grandchild of the Irish born person) registered before
the 30th June 1986 and the great-grandchild was born after 17 July 1956.
The Irish Consulate in New York explained that the parent would need to be
registered in the "Foreign Birth Register" which is held at the
Consulate, effectively a listing of those of Irish citizens born abroad who
are entitled to Irish citizenship who have their births "registered."
practical use of an Irish passport is that you will be entitled to work and
travel freely in any of the 27 countries in the European Union.
You won’t need a work permit for this – and once you have
worked in a European Union county for a certain length of time, you will be
entitled to unemployment compensation, health care and pension rights.
How else then can you get an Irish passport? Getting a passport is really
the easy part – it’s getting Irish citizenship that takes a
Born in Ireland
To get an Irish passport, you must first become an Irish citizen.
Fortunately, Americans can hold dual citizenship, as can Irish, so
there’s no conflict there.
Let’s look at the scenarios that allow you to claim Irish
Anyone born in Ireland before January 1, 2005 is an Irish citizen. After
that date, it is not automatic, and the citizenship and residency history
of both parents is taken into account.
Marriage to Irish citizen
You are also entitled to Irish citizenship if you are married to an Irish
To claim citizenship by marriage, you must meet the following conditions:
you must be married to an Irish citizen for at least three years; you must
have had one year of "continuous residence" on the island
of Ireland immediately before the date of your application; and finally,
you must have been living on the island of Ireland for at least two of the
four years before that year of continuous residence.
If you were born outside of Ireland and either your mother or father (or
both) was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, then you are entitled
to Irish citizenship.
If you have been a permanent resident in Ireland, you can try to become a
citizen through naturalization. You will need to have lived
permanently in Ireland for the previous five years, be over 18 and not have
a criminal record.
But let’s face it – living in Ireland for five years is a lot
of effort just to get that Irish passport. A much better way to get an
Irish passport is to have at least one Irish grandparent. And by Irish, we
mean an Irish grandparent who was or is an Irish citizen.
What to do next?
After getting an Irish grandparent, the next thing to do is to call an
Irish consulate and ask them to send you an application form. There are
Irish consulates in most of the major U.S cities. They should also be able
to advise you on getting the right documentation in order for your
You’ll need a copy of your grandparent’s birth certificate from
Ireland. If you don’t have a copy you can get one from the General
Registry Office in Dublin. (Click here to
go to their Web site.)
You will also need: Your grandparent's certificate of marriage; your
parents' birth and marriage certificates; and an original death certificate
for any of these relatives who have passed away. If the grandparent is
deceased, you’ll need to show a certified copy of their death
certificate, and if alive, a current official I.D. (such as a
driver’s license or passport.)
To access the Irish documents, it will help you to know as much information
about where and when your Irish grandparent was born, which may involve
some genealogy research.
If one of your parents is Irish, and you would like to get an Irish
passport, the process is easier. You need: their marriage certificate; a
current official I.D; a copy of their death certificate if your Irish
parent has passed away, a full long-form birth certificate of your Irish
parent, showing your grandparents’ names, places of birth and ages at
You will also need: your own long-form birth certificate; documentation to
show that you have changed your name, such as a marriage certificate, if
this has happened; a notarized copy of your current passport, and at least
three other notarized copies of proofs of identity, one of which must be a
photo I.D; a bank/utility statement with your current address; and two
signed passport photos.
Once you have established your Irish citizenship – which can take up
to 18 months to process – you can apply for an Irish passport. This
can take up to six weeks to process and you can do this through your
nearest Irish consulate.
And then, you too can sashay through the EU passport section at Dublin
airport after the overnight flight from New York!
this article at: http://www.irishcentral.com/travel/IrishCentrals-guide-to-getting-an-Irish-passport-126506743.html?showAll=y