Ireland offers many benefits for those seeking citizenship in the country. They are one of the few countries providing dual citizenship. Many also state that holding an Irish passport gives the holder unabated access to the EU and other countries without having to go through the daunting visa application process.
Even though the UK parted from the European Union, Irish passport holders (while continuing to be part of the EU) can still live, study and work in the UK without any issues.
Ireland offers many opportunities for talent and skill. This has attracted lots of foreigners to the country. It, therefore, becomes critical to understand the relevant statutory compliances required to move to Ireland and, above all, how to apply for an Irish passport.
There are different ways to apply for an Irish passport. Also, as foreigners of specific countries, the statutory compliances for eligibility to apply for an Irish passport must be met. Under normal circumstances and as per the standard processes, Irish passports fall under these main categories :
Either the applicant (you) or your parents should have been born in Ireland to be considered an Irish citizen. Even if your parents were born outside Ireland, but your grandparents were born in Ireland, you will be regarded as an Irish citizen.
By Marriage with an Irish National
If you marry an Irish citizen, then you will be required to show proof of the marriage and that you and your partner have been living together for at least three years in Ireland. Besides being married, you must also meet all the other eligibility criteria required to qualify for Irish citizenship.
Simply put, it means that you are born in Ireland, making you an Irish citizen who qualifies for an Irish passport.
Naturalization, as a process, means that you are a non-citizen of the country but could qualify, through specific eligibility criteria, to acquire citizenship or nationality of the country. Among the primary eligibility criteria, the most important ones specify that you should be above the age of 18 years or married to an Irish citizen, meet the residency requirements, show and prove intent to live in Ireland and be of good character.
It is possible to obtain a dual citizenship in Ireland. This means that you can continue to be a citizen of your original country while also having access to an Irish passport. Besides a host of benefits offered with dual citizenship, the downside is that you will be taxed for any and all income in both countries.
Many people opt for such dual citizenship. Another considerable advantage of having an Irish passport is that you will automatically qualify for visa-free travel to many countries worldwide.
Applying for an Irish passport entails the following steps :
• Filling out an online or offline Passport Application Form
• Providing proof-of-address documents like an earlier held passport, original utility bill, certified bank statement, or any Govt issued correspondence from the Revenue Department.
• Providing proof of identity documents is almost similar to the above. The exact same document cannot be used for both.
• Photographic identification by way of a Driving License, Public Service card or original passport issued by the origin country.
• Fees as prescribed for the type of passport being applied for.
• Birth Certificate if requested by the authorities for ascertaining the country of birth.
After completing the complete passport application form, you must send all the original supporting documents, as required. These documents need to be submitted along with a printed hard copy of the cover page of your passport application form, which lists the documents you are sending to the passport office.
While sending these documents and considering the entire set to be original, you might want to ensure precaution and care. Best to send all the original documents through a trusted postal service if sent within Ireland or simply submitted to the nearest Irish Embassy.
The time it could take for your passport application to be reviewed, checked, and approved would vary on the type of application. Not all applications will be approved the first time. Typical periods could differ from case to case and person to person. It is, however, observed over the past few years that online applications seemed to be processed relatively faster than offline hard copy applications.
While this is not officially proven data, it is based on experiences from multiple applicants across different types of applications. The Irish passport service has enabled an online facility for all applicants to check the real-time status of their respective applications at any time during the entire process.