As Brexit day draws ever closer, Brits have started to wonder whether they are eligible for an Irish passport.
Just last month The Standard reported that British people have been applying for them in huge numbers since we voted to leave the EU in 2016.
In fact, the number of applications for Irish passports soared from 46,000 in 2015 to 81,000 last year, and the Irish embassy in London has issues 10 times more passports than any other office.
What are the benefits of an Irish passport? Why are so many people applying?
Since the Brexit vote in 2016, many have started to question whether they will be able to travel freely in Europe after the UK leaves in March next year.
Some feel that having an Irish passport it will ensure them free travel through the bloc, as Ireland is part of the EU, which guarantees citizens visa-free travel through the EU - regardless of the outcome of the UK's Brexit negotiations.
Who is eligible for an Irish passport in the UK?
If you were born in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland before January 1 2005, you are eligible for Irish citizenship.
After that date, you are entitled if you were born in Ireland and your parents were British or Irish citizens at the time of your birth.
British people with an Irish parent or grandparent that was born in Ireland are entitled to citizenship regardless of where you were born.
How much does an Irish passport cost and how long will it take?
An application for a standard 10-year passport costs £71. From the UK it takes from six to 10 weeks to process, or around four weeks from Ireland.
How to apply for an Irish passport from the UK
Unfortunately, you can't apply for your first Irish passport online, and you can't download a form.
You'll need to visit an Irish embassy or consulate in the UK to pick up a form in person and take it away to complete.
When you fill out the form, a witness must sign and stamp it too. This person cannot be related to you and must be in a specific profession outlined by the embassy, such as a Doctor, Police Officer, or Bank Manager.
Your completed form will need to be delivered to the Irish embassy within 6 months of being witnessed, along with:
- Your birth certificate
- A marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Proof of entitlement to Irish citizenship if born abroad
- Photo identification, e.g. driver's license
- Proof of name, e.g. payslips
- Proof of address, e.g. utility bill
- 4 passport photographs, 2 of which must be signed on the back by your witness
More information can be found on the application form or the Irish DFA website.
If you live in Ireland, you can apply at a Passport Office or using Passport Express.
Those living abroad can either apply in person or in writing at the nearest embassy or consulate.
How likely am I to get an Irish passport?
If you hit all the stipulations, then quite likely.
However, the Metro reported that the Irish government refused 15,074 British applications last year - an increase of 1,499,900% on 2016.
They were refused on 'grounds of identity and applicants not being an Irish citizen'.