Irish citizenship and passports for children born abroad

Introduction

This document outlines how to get Irish citizenship for children who were born abroad and have an Irish parent. It also covers how to apply for an Irish passport for children born abroad.

Irish citizenship for children

Children born abroad

If you (or the other parent of your child) are an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, then your child is automatically an Irish citizen – no matter where they are born. This means that you can apply for an Irish passport for your child.

If neither you nor your child’s other parent were born in Ireland, but one of you is an Irish citizen, your child can get Irish citizenship, but you must register your child’s birth in the Foreign Birth Register. Your child can apply for an Irish passport once they are registered in the Foreign Birth Register.

Children adopted abroad

Adopted children have the same rights as your biological children as long as the adoption is recognised under Irish law.

If you intend to adopt a child while living abroad, you should contact the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

If you have adopted a child abroad already, and you have not registered the adoption in Ireland, you should apply for the adoption to be entered in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions.

Once it is registered in Ireland, the adoption has the same legal status as if the adoption was made in Ireland.

Step children

Step children are not automatically entitled to citizenship but they may be eligible for residency under family reunification provisions.

Passports for children born outside Ireland

From 1 November 2019, if you are living in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the EU, EEA or Switzerland you can apply for your child’s first passport using Online Passport Service.

If you are living outside of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the EU, EEA or Switzerland you must use the paper based application service to apply for your child’s first passport. You cannot use the Online Passport Service.

It is not currently possible to download the paper application form. You can get the application form from the Irish embassy or consulate in the country where you live (or the closest embassy or consulate). In all cases, you must submit the following with your completed application form:

  • Four passport photographs of the child, 2 of which have been signed by a witness as per instructions provided with the application form
  • Child's birth certificate
  • Appropriate fee
  • PPS number (if the child is resident in Ireland)
  • Additional documentation to confirm the child’s Irish citizenship. The documents you need to provide depend on how the child became an Irish citizen.

Documents needed if the child’s parents are Irish citizens who were born in Ireland

You must provide the following documents:

  • Your full birth certificate
  • Your marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Depending on your situation, you may need to provide further documentation.

Documents needed if the child’s parents are Irish citizens who were not born in Ireland

If neither you nor your child’s other parent were born in Ireland, but one of you is an Irish citizen, you must register your child’s birth in the Foreign Birth Register.

You will get a Certificate of Registration, which you can then use along with the documents listed above to apply for the passport at your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.

You can read more in our document on Passports for children.

Page edited: 5 November 2019