Keep up to date with everything IiB, sign up to our mailing list

Thank you for signing up to our mailing list.

Please fill out all required fields

First Name

Last Name

Email

Applications for Irish passports from the Irish in Britain hit 98,000 in 2018

Back to all news

If you have a grandparent who was born in Ireland, you may be entitled to an Irish passport. This so–called ‘grandparent rule’ is famous for allowing footballers born outside of Ireland to pull on the green jersey. But since the UK voted to leave the European Union, Irish passports have become the focus of a lot more attention as applications have shot up


Total applicants from across the UK have more than doubled since the vote. In 2018, there were over 98,000 applications for Irish passports from England, Scotland and Wales, which was a 22 percent increase on the previous year.

As well as reconnecting people to their heritage, an Irish passport allows you to enjoy freedom of movement in the EU and offers visa–free travel to 184 countries.

There are different figures out there as to how many British citizens could be entitled to an Irish passport. A few years ago, a BBC News piece suggested that over six million people in the UK who do not already have an Irish passport may be entitled to one. This is roughly ten percent of the population! Ultimately, however, it is impossible to verify.

I live in Britain, how do I qualify for an Irish passport?

  • If you were born on the island of Ireland before 1 January 2005, you are automatically an Irish citizen. You can apply for a passport.
  • If you were born on the island of Ireland to at least one parent who was an Irish citizen, you are automatically an Irish citizen. You can apply for a passport.
  • If at least one of your grandparents was born on the island of Ireland, you can become an Irish citizen through Foreign Birth Registration.
  • If one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, even though you were not born on the island of Ireland. You can become an Irish citizen through Foreign Birth Registration.

You can also use this Irish government website to check if you qualify.

Click here for our passport information page.

You can also reconnect with your Irish heritage or your interest in the Irish community in Britain by signing up to our mailing list or becoming a member.