How to move to Ireland and get an Irish passport

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The number of Irish passport applications from British citizens has almost doubled since the UK voted to leave the European Union, according to Ireland's foreign office.

It said that 21,500 Britons have applied for a passport since July, compared to less than 11,000 over the same period a year ago.

That's because acquiring a passport from the Republic of Ireland allows British citizens to retain their EU citizenship, leaving them free to travel and work on the continent after Brexit without visa restrictions.

There is also no obligation for an Irish citizen to give up their British passport — they can simply have dual citizenship.

Even MPs and peers are joining in: the number who have applied for an Irish passport is reportedly "in the double digits," according to The Times. 

For those British citizens who are interested in doing the same, Business Insider has taken a look at what you need to do to become an Irish citizen, leaving you free to get hold of your very own Irish passport.

Check you're not already an Irish citizen. 

If you were born on the island of Ireland (that includes Northern Ireland) before 31 December 2004, you are already an Irish citizen, and you're eligible for a passport.

Likewise, if you were born on the island of Ireland after 1 January 2005, then you are automatically an Irish citizen — provided your parents are Irish citizens, or they lived in Ireland for three years in the four prior to your birth. This altered the previous situation, whereby any child born in the island of Ireland was automatically entitled to Irish citizenship.

Check your parents' ancestry. 

If one of your parents is Irish, you are also eligible to become a citizen (keep reading for how to apply.) 

Failing that, check your grandparents' ancestry. 

Your grandparents can come in handy too. If one of them is an Irish citizen who was born on the island of Ireland (that includes Northern Ireland), you are entitled to citizenship — regardless of where your parents were born.

Eligible through birth or ancestry? Sign up to the Foreign Births Register. 

If you're going down the ancestry route, you'll need to sign up to the Foreign Births Register, more details of which can be found on the Republic of Ireland's Foreign Affairs website

That involves providing a number of documents, including your parents' or grandparents' longform birth certificates, and a current form of I.D. 

Marry an Irish person. 

You are also entitled to Irish citizenship if you are married to an Irish citizen. There are a few conditions:

• You must be married to an Irish citizen for at least three years

• You must have had a period of one year's continuous "reckonable residence" in the island of Ireland immediately before the date of your application (that includes Northern Ireland.)

• You must also have been living on the island of Ireland for at least two of the four years before that year of continuous residence

Become a naturalised citizen (as long as you're a "good character"). 

If you've lived in the Republic of Ireland permanently for five of the previous nine years, you can apply to become a "naturalised" citizen. You need to be over 18 and have "good character." Mostly, this involves not having a criminal record.

Ireland has a "naturalisation residency calculator" which helps you work out if you've spent enough time in the country over the last five years to qualify.

You can find the naturalisation application form here. 

Crack into your savings

The application process for to become an Irish citizen isn't cheap. It costs £150 ($190) to apply, and £835 ($1060) for the full certificate. Given all the benefits of EU citizenship, however, that might seem like a small price to pay.

Last but not least... check out "Special Circumstances." Check whether you were born in Irish sea or Irish airspace (seriously) 

Any person who was born in Irish airspace is automatically entitled to full Irish citizenship, regardless of their parents' nationality. According to the Irish Citizens' Information Bureau, "A person born in Irish sea or air space to a foreign national on a foreign ship or in a foreign aircraft" is entitled to citizenship.

It might be a long shot, but it's definitely worth checking.

What next?

Now you wait. The application process to become a citizen can take 18 months to complete.

Apply for that passport

Once you've done that, you can apply for a passport, which usually takes six weeks. You can get a passport application form from your nearest Irish consulate.

The consulate in London is in Grosvenor Square, and a list of others can be found here.

The Irish Foreign Office provides a step-by-step guide to applying for a passport on its website.

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