Key messages to potential Irish passport applicants;
- While there is likely to be a significant increase in the number of first-time passport applications submitted from the UK and from British people living overseas, it is too early to assess the extent of that increase. We are seeing an increased number of queries relating to passports and citizenship from Northern Ireland, Great Britain and elsewhere.
- The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will take a considerable amount of time and negotiation before any changes will be effected – possibly over two years. During this period, UK passport holders continue to enjoy the rights of EU citizens including free movement within the EU.
There will be no changes during this period or for the foreseeable future to the entitlement to Irish passports including for people born on the island of Ireland, and for those persons who were born outside Ireland but have Irish-born parents or grandparents.
- There is no urgent need therefore for UK passport holders (whether based in the UK or elsewhere) to look into applying for an Irish passport at this time. Potential applicants should take time to establish the facts in relation to their entitlement and be aware that this is peak season for passport applications.
- Applications for renewals of Irish passports will, as always, be prioritised and these continue to represent the vast majority of all applications. There is no need for concern among people who have applications in the system or are planning to renew their passports.
- The Passport Service will closely monitor the situation with respect to the impact and Passport Service staff and other resources will be re-deployed as needed to deal with the increase in applications, if sustained.