A massive surge in British applications for Irish passports has been reported since the EU referendum.
In 2015, the year before the Brexit vote, more than 46,000 applications were lodged from Britain, excluding Northern Ireland.
By the end of 2017 that number had nearly doubled to 81,000.
Citizens of the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, will retain visa-free travel benefits after Brexit, no matter the outcome of the UK’s negotiations with the EU.
Some UK residents are entitled to an Irish passport if their parents or grandparents were born in Ireland.
In the first five months of this year, some 45,000 British people requested an Irish passport, according to Neale Richmond, Chair of the Irish Senate’s Brexit committee.
Mr Richmond said: “At least 10 percent of the UK’s population, not including Northern Ireland, are estimated to qualify for an Irish passport and in light of Brexit, many including a number of my own family members are staking their claim to an Irish passport.
“Figures released to me by the Irish embassy in London have shown that there is no sign of this rush for Irish passports abating.
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Brexit news: A massive surge in British applications for Irish passports has been reported
“While many in the UK are concerned with the looming disaster of Brexit, we must seize the positives from this new wave of people reconnecting with their Irish heritage, our post-Brexit UK-Irish relations can be built on a strong, connected, diaspora.”
London’s Irish embassy has issued more than 176,000 since 2016 – more than 10 times that of any other office.
And Mr Richmond said embassy staff were expecting 2018 to be the busiest year ever.
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Brexit news: London’s Irish embassy has issued more than 176,000 since 2016
How can you get an Irish passport?
The current rules state an applicant is only entitled to an Irish passport if they are an Irish citizen.
But the rules on whether you qualify as an Irish citizen are complex.
If you were born on the island of Ireland, you are an Irish citizen.
If you were born in Ireland after January 1, 2005 and one parent or both parents were Irish citizens, then you are also an Irish citizen.
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And if you were born outside Ireland to an Irish citizen who was also born outside Ireland, then you are entitled to become an Irish citizen.
Finally, if one of your grandparents is an Irish citizen who was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen.
You can only apply for a passport if you are aged 18 years or over.
Each application for a standard 10-year passport costs €80 (£71).
Can you buy an EU passport after Brexit?
To get an EU passport, you have to apply for citizenship.
The rules for citizenship application won’t change after Brexit, you’ll still need to apply and pay the cost of application.
Each country in the EU will have its own set of criteria for citizenship application.
If you want to apply for a passport, you should do your research to the country you’re interested in, but it isn’t quite as simple as buying one.
Brexit news: Each country in the EU will have its own set of criteria for citizenship application
What is EU citizenship?
EU citizenship is described in Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and includes the rights to:
– Travel and live anywhere in the EU
– Vote and stand as a candidate in European and local elections in another EU country
– Get diplomatic protection and consular help from any other EU country in another part of the world.
The EU treaties say EU citizenship “does not replace national citizenship” but “is additional to it”.
So EU citizenship cannot be acquired by giving up UK citizenship.