Demand for Irish Passports Continues to Soar

As Brexit draws closer (in theory), demand for Irish passports from those outside Eire continues to rise.

As data journalist Neil McCarthy revealed on earlier this month, there has been no let-up in British demand for Irish passports. While applications for Irish passports from British citizens in 2015 totalled 45,229, the number increased to 63,453 in 2016 when the UK voted to leave in the referendum.

In 2017, demand soared to more than 80,000 and last year the figures stood at nearly 100,000 while at March 2019 there were already some 37,248 applications. Continued uncertainty about what will happen when (or if) the UK leaves the EU has no doubt triggered the rise in applications.

Citizen of the EU

As an Irish citizen you are legally recognised as a national of Ireland and a citizen of the European Union. If you do not live in Ireland, citizenship means you are entitled to diplomatic support from Irish embassies/consulates abroad, etc. But unless you are diplomatic staff or the spouse or civil partner of one living abroad, you are not entitled to vote in an Irish election.

In the UK, you can hold dual citizenship and you do not have to apply for this. In certain countries, however, applying to citizenship to another country will mean you need to give up citizenship of that country. They include:

  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In the UK, you can actually have multiple citizenships or nationalities.

Irish citizenship qualification

What qualifies as Irish citizenship? Anyone who was born in Ireland before 2005 can claim citizenship as can anyone who has a parent who was born in Ireland. You can also claim citizenship if one of your grandparents was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents were. For this to happen, you need to have your birth registered in the Foreign Births Register.

A standard ten year passport you can apply for online is €75, while the large 66-page passports are €105. Children’s (those aged under 18) passports are €20. Applying for a first passport must be done via a paper application.


As expert probate genealogists, Finders International can help with your applications for an Irish passport. We can research your family tree to confirm the ancestry that qualifies your for citizenship and obtain the certification needed to prove your relationship. Contact us if you would like to find out more about this service.