Getting an Irish Passport
A passport is an internationally recognised travel document confirming your identity and nationality. Your Irish passport is issued by the Irish Government through the Passport Office here in Ireland. If you are living abroad, Irish passports are issued through Irish embassies and consulates throughout the world. In addition to confirming your identity and nationality, your passport essentially is a request from the Irish government that other governments abroad permit you to travel or stay in their terrority and afford you lawful aid and protection. While your Irish passport is an internationally recognised travel document, it does not give you an automatic right to enter other countries.
You are only entitled to an Irish passport if you are an Irish citizen. In addition to allowing you travel abroad, your Irish passport entitles you to certain diplomatic support services from Irish embassies abroad should you get into difficulties.
You can apply for a passport in two ways. You can either send your application form directly to the one of the passport offices, located in Dublin and Cork, or you can send it via the "Passport Express" service, which is operated by An Post. The Passport Express service guarantees that you will get your passport within 10 working days.
If you are an Irish citizen living abroad and you are applying for an Irish passport, you will need to get the appropriate application form from the Irish embassy or consulate in the country in which you are living.
From 1st October, 2004 all children, regardless of age, must obtain an individual Irish passport in their own name. However, parents passports issued before 1 October on which children have been included remain valid and do not need to be replaced. Children who are included on a parent's passport issued before 1 October, may continue to travel to most countries up to their 16th birthday along with that parent providing the passport is still valid. There are, however, some exceptions. These include the Czech Republic which requires persons aged 15 and over to carry their own passport and Estonia which requires all persons aged 7 and over to carry their own passport. If you are in any doubt, check with the Embassy or Consulate of the country concerned before you travel.
Children under 3 can apply for a 3 year passport, children between 3-17 can apply for a 5 year passport. The parental consent section (Section 7) of the passport form must be signed by both parents or guardians each time a new childs passport is issued. Every application for a passport of a child under 18 years must be accompanied by the full birth certificate showing the names of the childs parents.
If you are the sole guardian of a child, you do not have to get a second parent's consent, but you will have to sign an affidavit stating that you are the sole guardian. You should contact the Passport Office for an affidavit form. If you are not in touch with your child's other parent or if that parent refuses to give their consent, you can apply for a Court Order, which will allow the Passport Office to issue the passport without that consent.
It is no longer possible to obtain a replacement passport (e.g. if your passport has been damaged or if you have married and want to change the name on your passport). Instead, you will have to apply for a new one. (Read through 'How to Apply' below).
All EU citizens have the right to enter and live in the territory of another member state of the EU for up to three months. You simply present a valid passport or national identity card: no other formality is required. EU countries cannot set additional conditions concerning the minimum validity or duration of the identity card or passport. Basically this means that your passport doesn't have to be valid for say, 6 months before you are allowed enter another EU country.
Irish citizens travelling to destinations outside the EU are subject to the specific passport controls and requirements of those countries. This means for example when travelling outside the EU, your passport may need to be valid for a certain period. The arrangements vary from one country to another so contact the relevant Embassy of the country before you travel for the most up-to-date information on these requirements. We cannot advise on the requirements of any country - contact the embassy directly.
Two identical photographs of the passport holder must be included with each application. They should be signed on the back by the person applying for the passport (or parent/guardian in the case of young children) and by the person who witnesses the application. There are strict standards in place governing passport photographs as follows:
The current rates (from 1st March, 2004 onwards) are:
If you apply through Passport Express, there will be an additional charge of 7 euro per application. An Post has recently issued a 'Family Application' option at a special rate of 10 euro. (Up to 4 passport applications for a family may be enclosed in one envelope). This fee includes postage to/from the Passport Office. Passport Express service through UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland and the UK costs £5.50.
In the case of postal applications, you must pay by cheque, postal order, money order or bank draft in euro made payable to the Passport Office. Fees for postal applications should not be paid by cash. Credit cards are not accepted.
Replacing a lost or stolen Irish passport
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