Top passport questions
We answer the most frequently asked questions about applying for an Irish passport.
- When should I apply?
- Can I apply online?
- Passport Applications
- Submitting your application
- Apply in Ireland?
- Lost/Stolen Passports
When should I apply for my new passport?
You should apply for a new passport at least 6 months before your current passport expires. This is because many countries will only permit you to enter if your passport is valid for at least six months after you leave that country. As passports are printed in Ireland you should allow 8-10 weeks for your new passport to arrive.Be aware that many countries require that visitors' passports are valid for at least 6 months after the visitor leaves the country.
Pay attention to the number of blank visa pages in your passport. If you are a frequent traveller to countries where a visa is required, then you should apply for a new passport before you reach the last few blank visa pages.
Can I apply for my passport online?
No, it is not possible to apply online. Passport applications must be made on an original APS2 form.
Where can I collect a passport application form?
If you live outside of Nigeria, you can send us a pre-paid DHL envelope and we will send an application form to you. Contact us on +234 9462 0611 for details.
If you live in Nigeria, then you must complete your passport application in person at the Embassy in Abuja or the Honorary Consulate in Lagos. Contact us on +234 9462 0611 for details.
How can I have my passport application witnessed?
The person who witnesses you signature and confirms your identity must, without exception, be a member of one of the following professions and must not be related to you. Retired witnesses are not acceptable. The witness must come with you in person to the Embassy or to the Honorary Consulate in Lagos. The following witnesses are accepted:
- Medical Doctor
- School Principal/Vice Principal
- Practicing Lawyer
- Bank Manager/Assistant Manager
- Member of the Clergy
- Elected public representative
The above professions may also witness the consent of parents on a child's passport application (section 7 of the form). Again, the witness must come to the Embassy/Consulate in person and bring the proof of their profession and their official stamp. Contact us on +234 9462 0611 for details.
There is an Embassy charge of the Nigerian naira equivalent of €40 for certifying that the witness and the applicant have signed in the presence of an Embassy or Consulate officer.
Where can I submit my passport application?
If you are living in Nigeria:
- The Passport Office at the Embassy of Ireland in Abuja is open on Wednesdays from 2-4pm and on Thursdays from 10am to 12pm. You can lodge your application at these times. Outside of these times you can ring us on 09 462 0611 for information on how to apply.
- The Honorary Consulate in Lagos is open from 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday.
- For all applications from Nigeria, we require you to come in person to the Embassy with your witness and, if the passport is for an Irish child, to bring that child with you.
If you are living in Ghana:
- Contact +233 244 237 098 for instructions. The application must be submitted in person.
If you are living in Senegal, Chad or elsewhere in West Africa:
- Contact us on +234 9 462 0611 for instructions. You will be required to send us a DHL pre-paid courier envelope so that we can send you the application form.
Poor quality photographs are the main reason we have to reject passport applications. Bring these photo guidelines with you to your photographer to ensure that your photo complies fully with the requirements.
Passport photo checklist
- Include 4 identical photos, no more than 6 months old with the passport application
- Make sure they meet our requirements (see below)
- Get the witness for your application to write the form number (found on Section 9 of the application) on the back of two of your four photos. They must also sign and stamp the back of those two photos.
If you don’t make sure the witness signs, writes the form number and stamps on the back of two photos, you’ll have to submit a new application form and photos.
Passport photo do's and don't's
- Do centre your head in the photo
- Do look directly at the camera
- No hair across your face or eyes as eyes must be clearly visible
- The background must be plain and light coloured
- Do make sure your facial features are clearly visible, from the bottom of your chin to the crown of your head
- Don’t tilt your head up/down or left/right
- Do keep your facial expressions neutral (no raised eyebrows, frowns)
- Do keep both eyes open and your mouth closed
- Don’t smile
Glasses, head covers and clothing
- Do wear your glasses (if you normally wear them) but make sure there’s no reflection on the lenses and the frames don’t obscure your eyes
- Don’t wear sunglasses or glasses with tinted lenses, unless they’re prescription
- Don’t wear a head covering unless it’s for religious reasons
- Don’t wear a hair band.
- Don’t wear a uniform, civil or military (e.g. showing epaulettes, insignia)
Passport photo requirements
The photos should show a close up of your face and the top of your shoulders so that your face takes up between 70% and 80% of the frame
- Minimum: 35mm x 45mm
- Maximum: 38mm x 50mm
Lighting and focus
- Photos must be in sharp focus and correctly exposed
- Shadows from the head must not appear in the background
- Good colour balance and natural skin tones are essential
- ‘Red eye’ in photographs is not acceptable
- A clear contrast is needed between facial features and background
- Photos must be printed on photo-quality paper at a high resolution
- There should be no ink marks or creases
- Digital enhancements or changes are not acceptable
- The reverse of the photos must be white and unglazed
- Black and white photos are recommended as they’re digitally printed onto the passport in black and white. But we also accept colour photos.
Infants or very young children who can’t support themselves should be photographed lying down on a plain, white surface.
No one else should appear in the photo, so make sure that hands or arms used to support the child are not visible.
People with disabilities
If you have a disability that prevents you meeting all of these requirements, Contact us and we can advise you.
Can I apply for my new passport when I am in Ireland?
You can only apply for a passport in the country in which you are habitually resident. This also applies to your children - applications must be submitted in the country in which the children reside. If the child's father is in Ireland, but the child is in Nigeria then the application must be made in Nigeria.
Lost or stolen passports
If you have lost your passport, before applying for a new passport you must submit a stamped police report and a Sworn Affidavit executed at the High Court which explains how the passport was lost or stolen. When applying for your new passport please bring these two documents along with three different pieces of photographic identification (such as Permanent Voter's Card, driver's licence or Nigerian passport) and three different proofs of address (such as utility bills or bank statements).
If you need to travel urgently, we may be in a position to issue an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC). ETCs are not issued to anyone under 18 years old or to anyone who has already reported one passport as lost or stolen. Contact us for more information on 09 462 0611.