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FAQs: Embassy Services COVID-19 Update

FAQs: Embassy Services COVID-19 Update

LAST UPDATED: 1 October 2021

This page has answers to some of our most frequently asked questions at the Embassy of Ireland in Brussels. 

The Embassy is currently operating under hybrid working in line with public health guidelines in Brussels. We continue to provide consular services to Irish citizens by appointment only. Appointments are available for Irish citizens needing assistance by contacting us.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Irish Passports
2. Foreign Birth Registration
3. Visas for Ireland
4. Other Services (certified copies of passport, witnessing, driving licence queries)

 

 

 

 

 1.  Irish Passports

The Passport Office in Ireland is processing applications submitted via Passport Online.

Passport Online is open to all applicants, including children, renewing their passports and those applying for their first passport who are resident in Belgium.

To apply via Passport Online, please click here.

Look before you book. Always check your passport validity (and the kids passports) prior to making travel plans. To avoid disappointment, we strongly advise applicants not to make travel arrangements until receiving your new passport.

Information on processing times can be found here (please note: Passport Express is not available in Belgium). Please be aware for the potential for postal delays. Details of how to track your passport in the postal system can be found below. Passports cannot be delivered to the Embassy in Brussels.

If you have any queries regarding your online passport application, please contact the Passport Service's Customer Support Hub via WebChat or phone and have your tracking number ready.

Please note, the Embassy in Brussels has no role in online applications and cannot provide status updates or information regarding these applications.

If you need a travel document for a genuine emergency (death or serious illness of a family member, or emergency medical treatment), please contact us. Please note holiday travel is not considered an emergency.

 

Q: How can I apply for my Irish passport?

A: At present, it is only possible to apply for your passport from Belgium using Passport Online.

Passport Online is the fastest and cheapest way to apply for a passport for adults or children, and can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Passport Online can be used for first time applications and renewals.

Please do not not make travel arrangements without a valid passport.

It is currently not possible to apply via the Embassy in Brussels.

For the latest updates on the provision of passport services, please visit: dfa.ie

Q: What is the status of my passport application, and when will my passport be delivered? 

A: You can track the progress of your passport application on the Passport Tracker by entering your application number. Please note the issue date of your passport on the tracker is a Target Issue Date and not a guaranteed date or a delivery date.

Delivery

Passports are sent from Ireland by registered post.

When your new passport has been dispatched by the Passport Office a postal tracking code will appear on the Passport Tracking website. This code can be used to track the delivery of your passport. The tracking code can be used on the An Post website, and following arrival in Belgium on the B Post Track Your Shipment website. There can be a delay of several days in the tracking code working on the B Post Tracker.

Your new passport and/or passport card will be sent via registered post to the address you provide in the online application form. The online application has the option of entering a home address AND a dispatch address (if you are not at home to sign for it during the day).

Passport books and passports cards are dispatched seperately.

Please do not use the Embassy address as a dispatch address. Due to current working arrangements, we cannot guarantee that staff will be available to sign when the postal service is delivering. This could result in the passport being returned to Ireland and in a long delay in receiving of your passport.

 

Q. Where can I find out more about Passport Online and the documents I need to submit in order to apply for an Irish passport? 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about Passport Online can be found here

Details of the documents required for first time passport applications can be found here.

Q. The link I received by email from the Passport Office to resubmit a photo, print the parental consent form or witnessing form has expired. How do I request a new one?

You can request a new link here. Please have your application number to hand (this number can be found the email receipt sent after submitting your application).

Q: I received an email from the Embassy prior to February 2020 to say my passport is available for collection. How do I collect my passport?

A: Please contact us by email to arrange collection or postage of your passport if you applied via the Embassy prior to February 2020.

Q. Can I come to the Embassy to have my passport application witnessed?

It is not possible to have a passport application witnessed by Embassy officials. Applications must be witnessed by one of the professional listed here. Adult renewal applications submitted online do not need to be witnessed.

 


2. Foreign Birth Registration

Please note that since February 2020 new applications for Foreign Birth Registration are submitted directly to the Passport Office in Ireland. Contact details for the FBR Unit can be found here.

You are automatically an Irish citizen if one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, and was born on the island of Ireland. You don't need to apply to become an Irish citizen in this case and can apply for a passport using Passport Online.

The latest information of the processing of Foreign Birth Registration applications in the context of COVID-19 is available here.

Q: What is the status of my application for Foreign Birth Registration?

A: If you have already sent in an application, your application is safe and will be processed as soon as possible.

Q. I submitted an application for Foreign Birth Registration to the Embassy prior to February 2020. What is the status of my application? 

Please bear with us as we work through the remaining application we have to hand. We hope to complete processing of these applications in the coming months. 

If you have a query regarding an application submitted at Embassy Brussels, you can contact us by email and we will respond as soon as possible. 

Q. I am interested in applying for Foreign Birth Registration. Where can I find out more about eligibility and the requirements? 

More information on Foreign Birth Registration can be found here.

 


3. Visas for Ireland

Visa services resumed on 23 September 2021. However, please note that Covid-19 continues to effect processing times. If you require a visa for Ireland, please allow 6 – 8 weeks for your application to be processed.

Q: Are you accepting new visa applications?

A:  We are now accepting visa applications by registered post / courier only.

It is not possible to submit your application at the Embassy.

Please see our visa section for the latest updates on services.

If you have further questions that are not answered in our visa section or the Immigration Service Delivery website, please contact us by email.

Q. How long is the processing time for visas?

A: The estimated processing time for applications for correctly completed applications with all the required supporting documents is 6 – 8 weeks.

Q. Do I need a visa for Ireland?

A: A list of visa required / non-visa required nationalities is available from Immigration Service Delivery.

Q. I have a Belgian residence card. Do I need a visa for Ireland?

A: Whether or not you need a visa depends on your nationality or the country which issued your travel document (if you are a refugee).

A Belgian residence card cannot be used to travel to Ireland.

A list of visa required /non-visa required nationalities is available from Immigration Service Delivery.

Q. How do I pay for my visa?

A: We only accept payment made by bank transfer. Details of visa fees and the postage fee are available in the ‘Fees and payment information’ tab in the visa section. Please do not send cash in the post.

Please include a printout of your proof of payment with your application.

Q: I have submitted a visa application. How do I track the progress of my application?

A: Once a decision has been made on your application, you will be contacted directly. In order to ensure that resources can be used to best effect, we ask that you do not contact the Embassy to seek updates on your application by phone or email.

 


4. Other Services (certified copy of passport, witnessing, driving licences)

Q. I have been asked to provide a certified copy of my Irish passport. Can this be done at the Embassy?

A. This service is widely available from the offices of a Notary Public or Lawyer in Belgium. Details of how to find an English speaking notary or lawyer in Belgium can be found on our Living in Belgium page.

Q. I need to have the statutory declaration witnessed (e.g. Irish pension declaration). Can this be done at the Embassy?

Please note that, other than in genuine, documented emergencies, the Embassy of Ireland in Brussels no longer witnesses statutory declarations or affidavits.

This service is readily available at the offices of a notary public or lawyer in Belgium. Details of how to find an English speaking notary or lawyer in Belgium can be found on our Living in Belgium page.

Q. Is is possible to obtain an Irish driving licence at the Embassy? Is it possible to exchange a UK / NI driving licence at the Embassy?

The Embassy has no role in applying for, renewal or replacement of Irish driving licences.

If you live in Belgium and need to renew your Irish license, you should contact your local municipality where it can be swopped for a Belgian one.

If your Irish driving licence has been lost/stolen, you may need to a Letter of Entitlement in order to get a replacement Belgian Licence. In this instance, you will need to contact the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) in Ireland.

UK/ NI Driving Licences & Brexit

If you hold a UK / NI driving licence and reside in Belgium, it is recommended that you exhange it for a Belgian licence prior to 31 December 2020. More information is available from Belgium's FPS Mobility and Transport.

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