How to apply for your first Irish passport as an adult

Introduction

A passport is an internationally recognised travel document confirming your identity and nationality. You are only entitled to an Irish passport if you are an Irish citizen. You can acquire Irish citizenship by birth or descent or through naturalisation. If you are the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen you can apply for citizenship through naturalisation if you meet certain conditions.

This document explains how to apply for your first Irish passport, if you are over 18. If your previous passport was issued when you were a child and has not yet expired (or has only recently expired), your application is considered a renewal application and not a first-time application. In other documents you will find information on:

Your passport is an important legal document. You should always keep it in a secure place. Every Irish passport has a unique identification number. You should keep a note of this number, in case your passport is lost or stolen.

Your Irish passport allows you to travel abroad and entitles you to certain diplomatic support services from Irish embassies if you get into difficulty abroad. While your Irish passport is an internationally recognised travel document, it does not give you an automatic right to enter other countries.

Your Irish passport is issued by the Irish Government through the Passport Service of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland. Irish passports are also issued through Irish embassies and consulates throughout the world. You apply to the relevant embassy or consulate if you are living abroad.

Validity of Irish passports

Irish citizens travelling to destinations outside the EU are subject to the specific passport controls and requirements of those countries. This means, for example, when travelling outside the EU, your passport may need to be valid for a certain period. The arrangements vary from one country to another so contact the embassy of the relevant country before you travel for the most up-to-date information on these requirements.

All EU citizens have the right to enter and live in another EU member state for up to 3 months. You just need a valid passport or national identity card. EU countries cannot set additional conditions about the minimum validity or duration of the identity card or passport. This means that your passport doesn't have to be valid for, say, 6 months before you are allowed enter another EU country.

Machine-readable passports and electronic passports (ePassports)

A machine-readable passport is a passport with two typeface lines printed at the bottom of the biographical page (the photo page) which can be read by machine. When read, these lines provide identical information to that provided on the biographical page.

An electronic passport (ePassport) is the same as a normal machine-readable passport but it also has a small integrated circuit or chip embedded in the photo page. The chip securely stores a digitised image of the photo and personal details of the passport holder as they appear on the data page of their passport. The chip allows facial recognition technology at border controls. The Irish Passport Office has issued ePassports since October 2006.

Rules

You must be an Irish citizen to be eligible for an Irish passport.

You can apply for a passport if you are aged 18 years or over. If you are under 18, you will need the consent of both parents or guardian(s) in writing to get your own passport — see our document on passports for children.

Name on passport

Titles such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, Rev., Sir, Lord, Lady are not entered on Irish passports.

A passport can be issued in the married or civil partnership name of an applicant if a civil marriage certificate or a civil partnership certificate is submitted.

If the name you are known by is different from the name on your birth certificate and this is not due to marriage, civil partnership or adoption, you will have to supply documentary evidence that you have been using the name continually for at least 2 years. If the name you are known by is the Irish version of your name but you do not have proof of 2 years’ usage, proof of at least 6 months’ usage may be accepted. If the proof of 6 months’ usage is accepted, the English version of your name will also be noted on the passport. Examples of documentation showing proof of usage include a driving licence, bank statements, insurance, tax and social welfare documents. You should include at least 2 examples with your application.

If the name on your passport will not be exactly the same as the name on your birth certificate, you can indicate on the application form that you also want your birth certificate name noted on the passport. This can help to avoid difficulties if you apply for a visa or work permit abroad.

Passport photographs

You must include four recent identical photographs of yourself with your application. Two of these photographs should be signed on the back by the person who witnesses the application. The witness should also write the form number shown in Section 9 of the application form on the two signed photographs. If you are applying for your passport in Ireland the witness must be a member of the Garda Síochána.

If you are applying abroad, suitable categories of witness are listed on the application form. The witness should enter their daytime contact number on the application form as this may need to be verified by the Passport Service or Mission.

More detailed information on passport photographs is available here.

Rates

The fees when applying for an Irish passport using An Post's Passport Express (see below) or through an embassy or consulate are:

  • Standard 10-year, 34-page passport (aged 18 and over): €80
  • Large 10-year 66-page passport (aged 18 and over): €110
  • 5-year passport (aged under 18 years): €30

These fees do not include the charge payable to An Post for using the Passport Express service - see below.

When applying in person at a Passport Office the fees are:

  • Standard 10-year, 32-page passport (aged 18 and over): €95
  • Large 10-year 66-page passport (aged 18 and over): €125
  • 5-year passport (aged under 18 years): €45

Passport Express

If you use An Post's Passport Express service there is an additional administrative charge, which is paid to An Post. This charge is €9.50 per individual application. An Post also offers a 'Family Application' option where up to 4 passport applications can be enclosed in one envelope. The additional charge for a Family Application is €16. The additional charge includes postage to and from the Passport Service.

There are a number of UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland that provide the Passport Express service (pdf). There are also two post offices in Great Britain offering Passport Express (Glasgow and Liverpool).

Living abroad

When applying for a passport through your Irish embassy or consulate, there may be additional administrative costs or handling charges depending on where you live. Check this in advance with the Irish embassy or consulate in the country where you live.

How to pay

You can pay for your Irish passport through Passport Express or at a Passport Office public counter if you are living in Ireland. If you are using An Post's Passport Express service, you should pay the passport application fees and the extra Passport Express fee directly to An Post.

If you are living abroad, you can pay by post or at your nearest Irish embassy or consulate abroad.

How to apply

It is not possible to apply for your first Irish passport online. (However, you can renew your passport online.)

It is also not currently possible to download the passport application form.

If you are living in Ireland you can apply using Passport Express or in person at a Passport Office. If you are living abroad you can apply in person or using ordinary or registered post to your nearest Irish embassy or consulate. If you are based in Northern Ireland or Great Britain, you may be able to use the Passport Express service available in certain post offices there, – see ‘Passport Express’ above. You can renew your Irish passport online.

If you are an Irish citizen living in the State, you should fill out form APS 1. You will find these forms at Garda stations and at any Post Office.

If you are an Irish citizen living in Northern Ireland or outside Ireland you should fill out form APS 2. You can get the application form from the Irish embassy or consulate in the country where you live (or the closest embassy or consulate). The Passport Express service and application forms are available through certain UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland (pdf) and two branches in Great Britain (Glasgow and Liverpool).

When you get the form, you should read the detailed notes provided with it, to help you complete the application form correctly. The application form must be signed by an official witness who can confirm your identity and the details you have given.

Documentation required

You must submit the following documents with your completed application form:

  • Four passport photographs, 2 of which must be signed by a witness as per instructions provided with the application form
  • Proof of name and identity
    • If you are resident in Ireland you must provide a photocopy of your Public Services Card (PSC)
    • If you are not resident in the State and do not have a PSC, you will need to provide a certified copy of photo identification (for example, a driving licence) and an original document showing proof of your name (for example, a pay slip or bank statement)
  • Proof of address, for example, utility bill, official correspondence from an Irish State agency (internet printouts are accepted if stamped by the issuing authority)
  • Appropriate fee
  • Additional documentation to confirm your Irish citizenship. Which documents you need to provide depends on how you became an Irish citizen – see ‘Additional documentation’ below.

If your previous passport was issued when you were a child and has not yet expired (or has only recently expired), your application is considered a renewal application and not a first-time application.

Additional documentation

The additional documentation you need depends on how you obtained your Irish citizenship.

Born in Ireland - you should include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)

Born abroad to Irish-born parent - you should include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)
  • Your Irish-born parent’s birth certificate
  • Your parents’ civil marriage certificate (if applicable)

Citizenship through foreign birth registration - you should include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)
  • Your foreign birth registration certificate
  • Your foreign passport

Born abroad and adopted under Irish law - you should include:

  • Your certificate of entry in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions (If adopted abroad your adoption must be entered in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions)
  • Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)
  • Your adoptive Irish parent’s birth certificate or Irish passport

Post-nuptial citizenship - you should include:

  • Your post-nuptial certificate
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)

Citizenship through naturalisation - you should include:

  • Your naturalisation certificate
  • Your foreign passport
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)

If your documents are not in English you must also supply a certified English version, translated by a registered translator. You may have to provide further information and/or be interviewed.

Processing times for passports

The Passport Service strongly recommends that you apply for your passport at least 6 weeks prior to your travel date.

Applying through the Passport Express service ensures that properly completed renewal applications will normally be processed in 15 working days. For first-time applications you should allow at least 20 working days for your application to be processed. This period may be extended at certain times of the year due to increased application numbers. Check the Passport Service website for current processing times.

If you are due to travel in less than 3 weeks you should apply in person to a Passport Office. To apply in person at a Passport Office, you should book an appointment online.

If you require a passport urgently, you should contact the Passport Service.

If you are living abroad, you should allow at least 6-8 weeks for your passport application to be processed via your local embassy or consulate.

Tracking the progress of your passport application

The Passport Service provides a Passport Tracking Service. This service lets you check the status of your application online. You must have the application number from your form to use this service (this number is in the top left-hand corner of the application form).

Signing the passport

When you receive your passport, you should sign it. If it is a child’s passport, the child should sign it. If the child is not able to sign their name, it should be left blank.

Where to apply

If applying from within the State, you should use Passport Express. Hand in your application at your nearest Service Plus Post Office. If you have immediate travel plans or a necessity to travel for reasons of family emergency, contact a Passport Office.

If applying from outside the State, send the completed application to the nearest Irish embassy or consulate, or hand it in at the nearest participating Post Office in Northern Ireland or Great Britain if using Passport Express.

You can order birth, marriage, civil partnership and adoption certificates online from the HSE.

You can order a certificate of entry in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions from the Adoption Authority.

Information on how to obtain a foreign birth registration certificate is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Passport Office

Knockmaun House
42-47 Lower Mount Street
Dublin 2
D02 TN83
Ireland

Tel:+353 (0)1 671 1633
Fax:+353 (0)1 671 1092
Homepage: http://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/
Email: [email protected]

Passport Office

1a South Mall
Cork
Ireland

Tel:+353 21 494 4700
Homepage: http://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/
Email: [email protected]

Page edited: 22 October 2018