Ireland is among the countries that provide citizenship-seeking individuals plenty of perks, especially since the nation offers dual citizenship. With an Irish passport, the holder already gets unhindered access to the European Union alongside other countries without experiencing a stressful visa application process.

Although the United Kingdom isn’t part of the European Union anymore, those who have Irish passports still possess the chance to work, study, and live in the UK without too many restrictions or issues.

It’s not a secret that Ireland provides plenty of opportunities for individuals to cultivate their skills and talents. For this reason, more and more foreigners choose to immigrate and enter the country in search for these opportunities. If you’re among these people, it’s crucial that you have an Irish passport and the steps you need to follow in order to apply for one.

The Irish Passport

The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index ranks the Irish passport fifth globally, a ranking of nations that reflect the travel freedom that its citizens benefit from. This means that Irish citizens have the luxury of visiting 172 countries worldwide without needing to have a visa in the first place.

However, it’s also because of this same reason that the Irish passport is more valued by ill-intent people who plan on using this for criminal activities. The passport is valued thousands of dollars on the black market for the convenience and sheer accessibility it practically offers to everyone. Fortunately, new electronic passports now possess advanced security features that make probabilities of such crimes impossible or difficult.

If you’re planning to enter Ireland or have access to the EU, getting an Irish passport will come in handy.

Ways to Apply for an Irish Passport

There are actually different ways you can apply for an Irish passport. Foreign-born citizens of specific countries need to comply the eligibility requirements to apply for one before being granted entry to Ireland. In accordance to standard processes, here are the main categories that Irish passports fall under:

  1. Through Descent

Applying for an Irish passport through descent requires that either the applicant or his or her parents should have been born in Ireland to be recognized as a citizen of the country. This means that even if your parents were born in a foreign country but your grandparents are born in Ireland, you’re considered an Irish citizen.

Also, being born in Ireland automatically makes you an Irish citizen who is eligible for an Irish passport.

  1. Marriage with an Irish Citizen/National

Marrying an Irish citizen also qualifies you for an Irish passport; however, you will need to submit proof of the marriage and that you and your spouse have been residing together for the at least three years in the country. Besides this, you also need to comply with the other eligibility criteria needed for an Irish citizenship.

  1. Naturalization

Another way to obtain an Irish passport is through a process called Naturalization. This process makes it so that non-citizens of Ireland can qualify for citizenship by meeting specific criteria of eligibility. Among the primary criteria includes being above 18 years of age or married to an Irish national, meet requirements of residency, and prove intent to reside in Ireland and stay in good character all throughout.

Application Process

After determining which method you plan on applying for an Irish passport with, you can submit your online application form by utilizing the Passport Online service or appl through post via the Passport Express Service. You can also opt to apply in person by visiting a Passport Office’s counter service at the nearest Irish consulate or embassy in your country.

The Passport Online service can be used to renew your Irish passport regardless of where you are in the world. Meanwhile, the Passport Express Service is only available if you’re residing in Northern Ireland or located in certain locations near post office branches.

It’s important to take note that once you’ve completed your passport application form, you must send the original supporting documents as they’re required. These must also come with a printed hard copy of your passport application form’s cover page, which includes a list of the documents that you’ll be sending to the office.

Make sure that the entire set of documents are original; take necessary precaution and care by using a trusted postal service when submitting within Ireland or to your nearest Irish consulate.

The length of time it takes for your application to be checked, evaluated, and approved will differ largely on your type of application. Not all passport applications are approved within a short span of time, or during the first time around. In fact, these periods for approval tend to vary from person to person and case to case. However, given the advancements in technology, applicants can expect a relatively faster application processing than the traditional offline hard copy applications before.

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