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EU UK Referendum: FAQs - Citizenship, Passports & residency entitlements

Renewing your Irish Passport

Applicants in the UK should check the validity of their Irish passport at least 3 months ahead of travel.

Renew online

Before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, UK passport holders continue to enjoy the rights of EU citizens including free movement within the EU. 

There will be no Brexit related changes to the entitlement to Irish passports. This includes people who were:

  • born on the island of Ireland
  • born outside Ireland but have Irish-born parents or grandparents. 

There is no urgent need for UK passport holders (whether based in the UK or elsewhere) to look into applying for an Irish passport. Potential applicants should take time to establish the facts in relation to their entitlement.

There are different ways to apply for Irish citizenship based on your circumstances.

You were born outside the island of Ireland. One or both of your parents was an Irish citizen who was born on the island of Ireland.

  • You are entitled to Irish citizenship. You can apply for an Irish passport under Irish law, irrespective of where you live.

One of your parents, while not born in the island of Ireland, was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth.

One of your parents obtained Irish citizenship through Naturalisation.

  • Irish citizenship can be passed on to the next generation as the parent was an Irish citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth. 

One of your parents obtained Irish citizenship through Foreign Birth Registration before you were born.

  • Irish citizenship can be passed on to the next generation as the parent was an Irish citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth. Citizenship by Foreign Births Registration applies only from the date of registration. 

Only Irish citizens may hold an Irish passport, but it is not necessary to have an Irish passport to be an Irish citizen. 

Will there be delays in renewal times for existing passport holders? 

See our turnaround times.

I was born in Northern Ireland. Will a UK exit mean that I am no longer entitled to Irish citizenship or an Irish passport?

A UK exit from the EU does not change anything about entitlement to Irish citizenship.

The essential legal position remains as follows:

  • If you were born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005, you are entitled to be an Irish citizen.
  • If you were born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005, your right to Irish citizenship depends on your parents’ citizenship at the time of your birth and the residency history of at least one of your parents before your birth.

I am a British citizen living in Ireland. Can I get citizenship and a passport based on my residence here?

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website can answer any questions about naturalisation.

What is naturalisation?

It is a process partly based on residency. It that allows non-Irish nationals to apply to become an Irish citizen.

How do I get an Irish passport for the first time and how long will it take?

First time passport applications take longer because of security checks and documentation required.

See our turnaround times

Am I eligible for Irish citizenship?

Passport Guide

Residency and the Common Travel Area

What is the position now for Irish citizens in the UK and of British citizens in Ireland?

The Common Travel Area allows Irish and British citizens to move freely and reside in either jurisdiction. They also enjoy associated rights and entitlements. The Government of Ireland and the UK Government have committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area in all circumstances.

What is the size of the Irish community in Britain?

There are 430,000 Irish-born people resident in Britain. 407,000 of these live in England and Wales and 23,000 live in Scotland.  Estimates vary on how many second and later generation Irish people live in Britain.

Sources: 

2011 Census for England and Wales

2011 Census for Scotland