For Written Answer on : 16/02/2022
Question Number(s): 122 Question Reference(s): 8493/22
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the current process with respect to first time passport applications for babies born in Ireland in circumstances in which both parents are non-Irish citizens; the current estimated processing times for such applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
All passport applications are subject to the provisions of the Passports Act 2008, as amended. The Act provides, among other things, that a person must be an Irish citizen before a passport can be issued to that person. In order to meet this requirement, each passport applicant must demonstrate an entitlement to Irish citizenship by providing acceptable documentary evidence of this entitlement when making a first time passport application.
An individual born on the island of Ireland before 2005 or born to a parent who was born on the island of Ireland before 2005 is automatically an Irish citizen.
The citizenship of persons born on the island of Ireland on or after 1 January 2005 is determined by the citizenship or residency status of one of their parents at the time of the person’s birth. In the circumstances outlined by the Deputy in which both parents are non-Irish citizens, if neither of the parents are a British citizen, the citizenship of a child born in Ireland on or after 1 January 2005 is determined by the residency status of one of the parents at the time of the child’s birth. A child born on or after 1 January 2005 may claim citizenship by birth where a parent has been lawfully resident in the State for three years of the four years preceding his/her birth (a total of 1,095 days).
In order to prove this residency period of one of the parents when applying for a passport on behalf of their child, the parent must provide acceptable documentary evidence. The documents required to prove the residency period vary depending on whether the parent was an EU or non-EU citizen at the time of the child’s birth.
If the parent was an EU citizen at the time of the child’s birth, it is necessary to rely on the following list of documents to prove the parent’s residency in Ireland for three of the four years before the child’s birth (not all of the documents on the list may be required in every case):
- Tax records (P60 / P45 / P35L / Employment Detail Summary) for each year showing at least 35 weeks insurable employment.
- Notice of Assessment / Self Assessment records for each year and supporting documentation e.g. bank statements / domestic bills for each month
- Letter from Social Welfare/Intreo confirming type of benefit payment received and the dates to and from when the benefit was paid directly, this must be accompanied by a photocopy of parent’s PPS card front and back
- Rent Lease (must include contract page and signature of the parent whose residency is being considered) with receipts / utility bills/ rent book to confirm payments for each month
- Bank statements for each month showing regular transactions in and out of the account
- School/college letters confirming dates of attendance, full time courses undertaken and proof of exam results
- Declaration Form A: This is a sworn statement by the parent, giving details of their period of residency in Ireland.
If neither of the parents was an Irish, British or EU citizen at the time of the child’s birth, one of the parents will be required to provide proof of residency in Ireland for three of the four years before the child’s birth with the following original documents:
- Original national passport of the parent showing residency stamps for 3 of the previous 4 years before the child is born. Expired passports can be submitted.
- Parent’s Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card / Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card.
- A summary statement, signed by parent of parent’s ‘permission to remain’ stamps in the passport. The summary should include:
- Number of the passport.
- Name of passport holder.
- Description of the stamp(s).
- Dates of the permission.
In addition to the documents outlined above, all first time child applications require the submission of:
- Guardianship documents (if required).
- Full original civil birth certificate.
Information on what is required for all first time passport applications, including details on documentary requirements, guardianship and consent, are available at my Department’s recently updated website (www.dfa.ie/passports/documentary-requirements/).
The Passport Service is currently experiencing high demand for first time passports, particularly for children. First time passport applications do take longer to process and there are a number of reasons for this:
- As outlined above, it is important for the Passport Service to confirm the applicant’s entitlement to Irish citizenship. The Irish passport was recently ranked 5th in the Henley Global Passport Index as it provides our citizens with visa-free access to 187 countries. This is something we can all be proud of. However, in order to maintain this ranking and to protect the integrity of the Irish passport, the Passport Service must validate the true identity of the applicant and take measures to confirm the applicant’s entitlement to Irish citizenship. Accordingly, a rigorous analysis process is in place to verify the identity and citizenship status of first time applicants.
- In the case of children, it is essential that the Passport Service verifies the consent of the child’s guardians before a passport can issue. This ensures that the Passport Service protects the rights of the child and their guardians.
Due to the intensive analysis and extra measures undertaken by highly trained and experienced staff, first time applications take 40 working days to process. In cases of children whose parents are not Irish citizens, the process can sometimes take longer due to the need to ensure that all of the required supporting documentation to prove the child’s entitlement to Irish citizenship is submitted and correct. Due to the high level of complexity with these particular applications, further documentation is often required adding to the processing time.
I strongly urge parents to carefully read the documentary requirements on my Department’s website and to apply for passports for their children online in plenty of time. Passport Online can be accessed by all first time applicants, irrespective of age, both children and adults, in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.