Who can get an Irish passport if their spouse is an Irish citizen?
You may be eligible for an Irish passport based on being married to an Irish spouse if you meet these requirements:
- You have been married to (or been in a civil partnership with) an Irish citizen for at least three years
- You have been living together in an ongoing marriage or civil partnership lasting at least three years
- You and your partner are both over 18 years of age
- You have been legally resident on the island of Ireland for at least three years within the last five years
- You were continuously resident in the 12 months preceding the date of your application
- You hold current legal immigration status to reside on the island of Ireland
It is not possible to receive an Irish passport without first registering as an Irish citizen. Therefore, you will need to apply to become an Irish citizen before anything else.
How to get an Irish passport as the spouse of an Irish citizen
If you are the spouse of an Irish citizen, you may be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship, and eventually, an Irish passport.
You must be able to prove that you were resident in Ireland for at least three years of marriage (or civil partnership) as well as three years of residence on the island of Ireland.
To naturalise as an Irish citizen, you will generally be required to submit a comprehensive application with extensive documentation providing that you are eligible.
If you have become an Irish citizen through naturalisation, you will then be able to apply for your Irish passport.
To apply for your first Irish passport as an adult, you should follow the below steps:
How to apply
- Apply online through Passport Online
- Apply by post through Passport Express
- Apply in person through the Passport Office’s counter service
- Complete an identity verification form (if using the online application option)
- Have the form signed and witnessed by a Garda and an appropriate person
- Passport photographs
- Civil birth certificate
- Civil marriage/ partnership certificate
- Proof of address
- Proof of name
- Copy of your Public Services Card/ government-issued photo identification document
- Any additional requested documents
Who is eligible for Irish citizenship?
First, you should check whether you are eligible for Irish citizenship.
You must meet one of the following circumstances to be an Irish citizen:
- You were born on the island of Ireland before 2005
- Your parent was born on the island of Ireland before 2005
If either of these apply, you can apply directly for an Irish passport without needing to apply for citizenship.
However, if you or your parent were born on the island of Ireland after 1st January 2005, your right to citizenship will depend on the following factors:
- The citizenship of your parents at the time of your birth
- The residency history of at least one of your parents prior to your birth
You may also qualify for Irish citizenship if one of more of your grandparents were born on the island of Ireland.
You may be eligible to apply for citizenship by descent or through the Foreign Births Register.
Once you are listed on the Foreign Births Register, you are an Irish citizen and entitled to apply for an Irish passport.
What is the reckonable residence requirement?
To become an Irish resident, you must be able to prove that you have spent a qualifying length of time in the country.
This is the case only if you are a citizen of a non-EU/ EEA country or Switzerland.
You must prove the following:
- You spent 1095 or 1096 days of reckonable residence on the island of Ireland (based on your permission stamps)
- This must include 365 or 366 days of continuous residence in the year prior to your application
Note that some permission stamps are not eligible to be counted towards reckonable residence. You can check the conditions of each stamp to calculate your reckonable residence.
Assistance applying for an Irish passport if your spouse is Irish
At the Immigration Advice Service, our Ireland immigration lawyers assist applicants with comprehensive and industry-leading advice every day.
The application process can certainly appear daunting to those unfamiliar with the stringent rules and requirements, particularly as there are many application forms to contend with.
We deliver an exceptional immigration service, helping both Irish citizens and those who are married to an Irish citizen on a regular basis.
If you wish to apply for an Irish passport and become an Irish national, arrange an appointment today with one of our immigration specialists. We offer advice on meeting the citizenship requirements as well as full application support.
If you need application assistance, ring the IAS today on +353 (0) 615 180 25. Our expert immigration lawyers situated in our Ireland office are fully equipped to help you with your Irish Citizenship application.
An IAS lawyer can assist you in building a portfolio of evidence to submit with the necessary forms. Get in touch with our friendly customer care team today to start the process.