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FAQs: Embassy Services COVID-19 Update

FAQs: Embassy Services COVID-19 Update

LAST UPDATED: 12 November 2020

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

In order to provide a safe environment for our staff and our visitors, and adhere to public health guidelines, the Embassy is currently operating at reduced capacity. Appointments are currently only available for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Irish Passports
  2. Foreign Birth Registration

  3. Visas for Ireland

  4. Other Services

 

 1.  Irish Passports

The Passport Service is open for applications online but processing has been paused as Ireland is at Level 5 restrictions. An update is expected in early December.

For applications requiring the posting of supporting documents to Dublin (i.e. applications for children, those involving name changes, all first time applications), applicants are asked not to post documents to the Passport Service while Level 5 restrictions are in place.

The Passport Service is continuing to process emergency cases (death or serious illness of a family member or for emergency medical treatment of the applicant).  

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.

As always, you should not make travel arrangements without a valid passport.

We are currently unable to process applications using the APS2 paper passport application form.

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

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 Tracking website by entering your application number.

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.

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).

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

Q. Who can I contact if I have further questions about Passport Online? 

Contact details for the Passport Office Customer Service Hub are available here.

Please note the Embassy has no role in online applications.

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.

 

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 processing of Foreign Birth Registrations has been paused until Dublin returns to Level 3 on the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. Until then those applications and documents that have been sent to the FBR team will remain securely held until full service is restored under Level 3. 

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 in due course. The current processing time for applications is 12-18 months.

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

Q: Is the Visa Office open? Are you accepting new visa applications?

A: Our Visa Office remains closed to the public.

We are now accepting applications for Long Stay 'D' visas (e.g. study visas, employment visas, join family visas), by registered post only. Please do not visit the Embassy as it will not be possible to submit your application in person.

Processing of short stay 'C' visa applications (e.g. visit visas, tourist visas) is currently suspended.

Applications for certain emergency or priority categories will continue to be processed. More details are available on the website of Immigration Service Delivery.

Q. How can I track the progress of my visa application? 

A. We strongly recommend that you send your visa application to us by registered post. You will be provided with a tracking number that can be used on the B Post Track Your Shipment website.

Following receipt of your application, we will contact you by email with any queries regarding your application. 

Q: When will you begin accepting short stay visit visa applications (e.g. tourist visas)? 

A. We are currently not accepting Short-stay Visas (‘C’ categories), for visits of less than 90 days, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in Ireland.

As soon as an update is available, we will update the visa section of our website.

Q: Where can I find the latest updates on visa services?

A: The latest updates can be found in our Visa Section and on the website of Immigration Service Delivery.

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

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

A. We regret that we cannot offer this service at present.

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 New to 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 New to Belgium page.

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