UK application seven week waits compared to 11 days in Dublin
Applications for Irish passports from London are to take an average of seven weeks – compared to 11 days in Dublin and 20 days for first time applications – according to Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it does not attribute increases or decreases in the volume of passport applications to any particular issues – despite the increase in British and Northern Irish applications coinciding with increased fears over Brexit.
In Northern Ireland, first time adult applications for Irish passports rose by 14 per cent from 10,672 to 12,159 between 2014 and 2015.
Britain and Ireland has since 1986 allowed its citizens to hold dual citizenship. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of adults born in England, Scotland or Wales applying for their first Irish passport on the basis of having an Irish-born grandparent increased by more than 33 per cent, from 379 to 507.
Applications from those with one or more Irish parent rose by 11 per cent in the same period, from 3,376 to 3,736.
The DFAT says the average wait time for a first time passport applicant in Ireland is now 20 working days, or four weeks.
Applicants going through the Irish passport office in London have been told they should allow about seven weeks. Standard applications from Northern Ireland using the Passport Express service offered in post offices there are taking 15 to 20 working days, on average.
In this country that service is only available in Liverpool and Glasgow. Ireland offers automatic citizenship to anyone whose mother or father is Irish, regardless of where they were born, while the grandchildren of citizens are also entitled to claim a passport once their births have been recorded in the Republic’s foreign births register. Great-grandchildren may also be eligible if their parents had registered at the time of their birth.
There is no official figure for the number of people in the UK entitled to claim Irish citizenship through a parent or grandparent but, potentially, the figure runs into millions.