EU UK Referendum: FAQs - Citizenship, Passports and residency entitlements

Only Irish citizens may hold an Irish passport, but it is not necessary to have an Irish passport to be an Irish citizen. 

Renewing your Irish Passport

Applicants in the UK should check the validity of their Irish passport at least 3 months ahead of travel.

Before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, UK passport holders continue to enjoy the rights of EU citizens including free movement within the EU. 

There will be no Brexit related changes to the entitlement to Irish passports. This includes people who were:

  • born on the island of Ireland
  • born outside Ireland but have Irish-born parents or grandparents. 

There is no urgent need for UK passport holders (whether based in the UK or elsewhere) to look into applying for an Irish passport. Potential applicants should take time to establish the facts in relation to their entitlement.

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There are different ways to apply for Irish citizenship based on your circumstances.

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Residency and the Common Travel Area

The Common Travel Area allows Irish and British citizens to move freely and reside in either jurisdiction. They also enjoy associated rights and entitlements. The Government of Ireland and the UK Government have committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area in all circumstances.

What is the size of the Irish community in Britain?

There are 430,000 Irish-born people resident in Britain. 407,000 of these live in England and Wales and 23,000 live in Scotland.  Estimates vary on how many second and later generation Irish people live in Britain. 

Sources: 2011 Census for England and Wales and 2011 Census for Scotland
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