All passport applications are subject to the provisions of the Passports Act 2008. The Act provides, among other things, that a person must be an Irish citizen before a passport can be issued to him/her. In order to meet this, each person must demonstrate an entitlement to Irish citizenship by providing acceptable documentary evidence of this entitlement.
Entitlement to Irish citizenship is determined by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended, under which Irish citizenship may be obtained by birth, by descent, or by naturalisation.
An individual born on the island of Ireland before 2005 is automatically an Irish citizen. For individuals born outside of Ireland, they may claim citizenship if they had at least one parent who was born in the island of Ireland before 2005.
Individuals born outside of Ireland can also claim citizenship through a parent who was not born in Ireland but was an Irish citizen at the time of the individual's birth, or through a grandparent born in Ireland. Individuals who wish to claim citizenship through these means must have their birth entered on the Foreign Births Register (FBR). Citizenship commences after inclusion on the FBR. Further details regarding the process can be consulted at the Passport Service's website: www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/citizenship/born-abroad/.
There are no provisions for the spouse or partner of an Irish citizen to acquire Irish citizenship solely by virtue of marriage or civil partnership. Post nuptial citizenship was repealed with effect from 30 November 2005. The Passport Service will accept a valid post-nuptial certificate as evidence of citizenship if this post nuptial certificate was awarded prior to November 30 2005. There is no provision to apply for post nuptial citizenship retrospectively.
In cases where no Irish lineage exists, an individual may apply for Irish citizenship through naturalisation. Minimum residency terms must be satisfied before an individual is eligible for citizenship through naturalisation. The Department of Justice and Equality is responsible for citizenship matters, including applications for naturalisation.