I’m Irish, I live outside Ireland, I need a passport – Help!

If you’ve been living outside Ireland for a while, chances are that you will have to renew your Irish passport. In the UK, we’re lucky, if you don’t have a valid passport, you can still get back home. You can check my previous post on what documents are needed Travelling between the UK and Ireland.

If you’re travelling anywhere else other than Ireland, you will need a passport. If you’re living anywhere else in the world you will need a passport. So how do you get one?

Renew your Irish Passport Online

If you need to renew your Irish passport, you can do that online now at the Department of Foreign Affairs website. To be honest, this is the easiest way to renew your passport.

In 2017, the Department of Foreign Affairs introduced online renewals and made everything easy peasy.

You can use a photo taken with your front facing camera on your phone. Get a friend to take it. just make sure that the room is well-lit, you have a light coloured background with no patterns. Take the photo from your chest area up, make sure your shoulders are included. Once the photo is accepted by the system, it will crop it to the correct size for your passport.

They’ve even made a nice little video for you to explain it all.

Getting a Passport Card

A passport card is really hand to have. You can use it to travel anywhere in the EU once you’re over 18. You can apply online for it, the same as the process for renewing your passport. When you are renewing your Passport Book, you can also apply for a Passport Card.

There are a couple of things to remember here:

  • You must have a valid Passport Book to get a Passport Card
  • A Passport Card is valid for a maximum of five years.
  • If you have less than five years validity on your Passport Book, your Passport Book and Card will have the same expiry date
  • If your Passport Book is lost or stolen, you must also replace your Passport Card.

Getting a First Irish Passport

You’re automatically an Irish citizen if you or your parent were born on the island of Ireland. Since 2002, any child born in Ireland, must have a parent legally allowed to reside there, to be entitled to citizenship and therefore an Irish passport.

The whole Brexit thing has meant that in the UK, lots of people, entitled to have a passport have finally got round to filling in the form after many years.

Yes, you still have to fill in the form. Don’t get your family to send you a form from Ireland. Outside Ireland, you have to use an APS2E form. In Ireland, you use an APS1E form.

The main difference is a Garda or PSNI officer signs a passport form in Ireland. Outside Ireland there are a number of other professions who can witness your application.

Where do I get an APS2E Irish Passport Application Form?

Wherever you are in the world, you can contact your local Embassy or Consulate. The Department of Foreign Affairs have a handy page with all the embassies here on their website.

The Irish Passport Office for Great Britain is located at:
114a Cromwell Road

You can find out more here.

In Great Britain, you’ll get APS2E forms in most Irish centres also.

London Eye - nessymon

Renewing your Irish Passport in person in London

If you have a completed an APS2E form and have travel plans you can go the Irish Passport Office in London with proof of travel, your old passport and 4 witnessed photographs. There’s never any guarantee but if you need a passport in a hurry, that’s your best bet.

Remember, if you’ve lost your passport, you will need:

  • Proof of name
  • Proof of address
  • Valid photo ID

It’s always a good idea to bring a few extra proofs and your birth certificate and a copy of your previous passport if you have it.

The nice people who work at the Passport Office have the right to ask you for as much information as they require to ensure that you are who you say you are.

Passport Express

Residents of Great Britain have a little bit of an advantage over those living further afield.
You can apply for a faster turnaround through Passport Express in two post offices in Liverpool and Glasgow.

Glasgow Post Office,
140 West Nile Street,
G1 2RD

Liverpool Post Office,
1 – 3 South John Street,
L1 8BN

Turnaround on these is normally 3-4 weeks, once all the documents received are ok. You can apply for a First Time Application or for a Passport Renewal through Passport Express.

Getting a First Time Adult Passport

If you are living abroad, are an adult and applying for the first time you will need:

  • 4 passport photos, two signed by your witness
  • Your Irish born parent’s Birth certificate
  • Your Irish born parent’s marriage certificate (normally if claiming through your mother, you need to show her name change)
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your marriage certificate (if you have had a name change)
  • Certified Photo ID / Certified copy of your other Passport (This is better as your name needs to be exactly the same on all passports you possess)
  • Proof of name
  • Proof of address

Most first time adult passport applications take somewhere in the region of 4-6 weeks to process. That’s not bad considering you’ve had your whole life to do it and are only getting round to it now!!

Getting your Baby a First Time Passport

If you are getting your baby their first passport, you or the child’s other biological parent must have been born on the island of Ireland.

You will need:

  • 4 passport photos, two signed by your witness
  • The birth certificate of the Irish born parent
  • The birth certificate of the child
  • The marriage certificate of the parents, if they are married, if not, well, it doesn’t exist – don’t worry

When you fill in the application form, you must fill in both sides of Section 7.
This is where the Father and Mother give consent that the child can have a passport.
You must get this witnessed by a person who is on the list on professionals allowed to witness the form. This list is contained in the wraparound information sheet that comes with the APS2E form.

Again, both sides of section 7 need to be signed and witnessed. This is to show both parents give consent.

You don’t have to get two different people to sign each side. You can do it together, the witness must sign to say both of you were there.
The same witness can also sign section 9 of the form.

You will need to check with your local embassy or consulate. If you have travel plans contact them before you post off an application. No one wants to leave your baby at home while you go off on holiday. If you go to the office, they can help you. If an application you post off, goes missing or there is a problem, then you’re a bit screwed.

I’ll say it again, go to your local Irish embassy or consulate!!!!!

There are some different scenarios with children regarding custody/consent/if a father is not named on a birth certificate. I am not a solicitor. It is up to you to ensure you have the correct information for your own personal situation.

Foreign Birth Registration

If you want to get an Irish passport through an Irish born grandparent, you’re not automatically an Irish citizen. You need to claim citizenship through a process called Foreign Birth registration.

The Foreign Birth Registration process can take approximately six months, so don’t be in a mad hurry for it. You can find out more about the process here. Once you get citizenship, you can then apply for your Irish passport.

With your Irish Passport Application you would need to include:

  • 4 passport photos, two signed by your witness
  • Your Birth Certificate,
  • Your Foreign Birth Certificate
  • Certified Photo ID / Certified copy of your other Passport (This is better as your name needs to be exactly the same on all passports you possess)
  • Proof of name
  • Proof of address


There’s a lot of information in here. I hope it helps in some way. If you have questions, please comment below and I will try to help if I can.

All information is correct as of Feb 11 2018. nessymon.com takes no responsibility for changes or incidents due to changes. Please always contact your local Irish Embassy or Consulate / travel provider for the most up to date information.