Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Passport and Citizenship by Descent Applications from Northern Ireland and Great Britain in 2017

Brexit, Consular, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Passports, Press Releases, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, 2018

 

 

Tánaiste announces details of Passport and Citizenship by Descent Applications from Northern Ireland and Great Britain in 2017

 

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, T.D., has confirmed that 2017 has seen a high volume of applications for passports received from Northern Ireland and Great Britain. There has also been a significant increase in applications for Citizenship by Descent from Great Britain.

 

Overall, some 20% of the total number of applications received by the Passport Service this year were from Irish citizens in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

 

The number of passport applications received this year from applicants in Northern Ireland has risen to 81,752, an increase of almost 20% compared to 2016, with applications from the rest of Great Britain rising to 81,287, an increase of over 28% compared to 2016.  

 

First-time applicants represented approximately half of all applications from Northern Ireland. The respective figure for first-time applicants from Great Britain was approximately 39%.

 

Over 47% of these GB applicants for passports were Irish citizens by birth in Ireland; while another 37% were Irish citizens born abroad to an Irish-born parent. Less than 7% of applicants from Great Britain in 2017 were Irish citizens following Foreign Birth Registration (“FBR”).  The relevant totals for 2016 applications from Great Britain were Irish born 55%, Irish-born parents 38%, FBR approx. 4%.

 

The number of persons applying for Foreign Births Registration has more than tripled in four yearsand the number of people successfully obtaining citizenship by descent more than doubled this year, with over 17,500 people entered on the Foreign Births Register to date. 

 

The overall number of applications for citizenship through Foreign Births Registration rose above 22,000 this year, with increases across all regions. The biggest regional rise was seen in applications from people born in Great Britain, which grew by 95% on 2016.  There were also significant increases in the numbers of applicants from the United States (up 33%) and South Africa (up 30%).

 

The Tánaiste stated:

 

“There was continued strong growth in demand for Irish passports from Northern Ireland and Great Britain in 2017. While the increase in passport applications from Northern Ireland and Great Britain is undoubtedly partly linked to the ongoing process of the UK’s departure from the European Union, the increase is not solely due to Brexit.  Other factors such as increased mobility and population growth are also relevant.” 

 

“It is particularly notable that, of the over 80,000 applications from Great Britain this year, almost half were from persons born in Ireland and another approximately 37% were from Irish citizens born abroad to an Irish-born parent.”

 

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has actively responded to these increases through a range of measures.  Over 240 Temporary Clerical officers were recruited to assist in the processing of passport applications during peak periods and in light of unprecedented increases in demand for consular services; and additional full-time staff have also been assigned both to the Passport Service and to the Foreign Births Registration unit. 

 

Continuous review and reform of processes are also underway to add efficiencies, improve customer service and ensure the integrity of both the passport and FBR processes. Among the innovations introduced in 2017 were:

 

  • Launch of the Passport Online Renewal Service in March, through which over 100,000 citizens have already been issued with a passport without the need for paper forms or photos; and
  • Implementation in December of the Gender Recognition of Foreign Births Regulations 2017, which allow a person who has obtained Irish citizenship by descent to have their preferred gender entered in the Register of Gender Recognition of Foreign Births.

 

 

ENDS

Press Office

01 January 2018

 

Notes for editors:

 

FBR and Passports by Number in 2017*

 

Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) is the process whereby people with an Irish-born grandparent, or a parent who is an Irish citizen through FBR, adoption or naturalisation, can acquire Irish citizenship.

 

Entitlement to Irish citizenshipis governed the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, as amended (“the 1956 Act”). In general, Irish citizenship may be obtained:

  • by birth in the island of Ireland to a parent meeting specified requirements;
  • by descent; or
  • by naturalisation. 

 

Under section 7 of the 1956 Act, a person born outside the island of Ireland is an Irish citizen if he/she was born to an Irish-born Irish citizen parent.  There is an additional requirement of registration in the Foreign Births Register in cases where his/her Irish citizen parent had also been born outside the island of Ireland.

 

Individuals born in Northern Ireland are – subject to certain requirements - entitled to Irish citizenship by birth; and are not included in the tables for Foreign Birth Registration below.

 

Country-specific figures relate to the country of birth of an applicant for FBR, which may be different from their nationality and/or country of residence.

 

 

 

Foreign Birth Registration Applications received 

2014

2015

2016

2017 to date

Great Britain

896

1,023

6,639

13,004

USA

2,597

2,474

3,572

4,801

Australia

742

749

843

885

South Africa

478

655

617

802

Rest of the World

729

1,577

2,104

2,532

Total

6,338

6,478

13,775

22,040

       

*

Foreign Birth Registration

Entries in the register

2014

2015

2016

2017 to date

 

6,951

5,638

8,212

17,836

 

 

Passports by Number in 2017*

 

Totals YTD

Passport applications      785,026

Passports issued               779,184

 

 

Passport Applications received 

2014

2015

2016

2017 to date

Northern Ireland

48,475

53,715

67,582

81,752

Great Britain

43,449

46,229

63,453

81,287

Total

91,924

99,944

131,035

 

163,039

       

*

 

 

Passports issued

2014

2015

2016

2017 to date

Northern Ireland

46,944

52,861

65,716

77,160

Great Britain

39,822

44,617

59,853

71,341

Total

86,766

97478

125,569

148,501