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Consulate of Ireland, Seattle
John F. Keane, Honorary Consul of Ireland
Seán P. Ó Catháin, Consal Oinigh na hÉireann
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John Keane
Honorary Consul of Ireland,  Seattle
John Keane

An Honorary Consul of Ireland is a private citizen who agrees to serve without pay to support the activities of the Irish government in areas where Ireland doesn't have a formal Consulate. 

The principal role of the Honorary Consul in Seattle is to assist the Irish Embassy in Washington, DC, through the Irish Consulate in San Francisco, in promoting contacts between Washington State and Ireland, in facilitating business and official visitors from Ireland, in supplying information on Ireland, and in providing consular services to Irish citizens who are visiting or residing in Washington State. If you need assistance or have questions, please don't hesitate to use the contact information below.

John Keane
7511 210th St SW, Unit # 1
Edmonds, WA 98026
425-582-2688
Office meetings by appointment only.
 
Consulate General of Ireland, San Francisco
100 Pine Street #3350
San Francisco, CA 94111
415-392-4214
 
Embassy of Ireland, Washington, DC
2234 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
202-462-3939


OTHER QUESTIONS?
If you need information that is not provided here, please don't hesitate to contact John Keane at 425-582-2688 or email
PASSPORT RENEWALS FOR ADULTS AND MINORS
ONLINE APPLICATION:  Most adults and children will qualify to apply online for their Irish Passport Renewals at passportonline.dfa.ieIf you are making a first time passport application, you must submit the application using a numbered and barcoded paper application form.

To qualify to apply online:
  • The current Passport cannot be expired for more than 5 years.
  • The current Passport cannot be currently valid for more than 12 months.
  • If your current Passport number begins with a letter other than 'P' or 'L', it probably cannot be renewed online, but check the website.
The applicant must be able to provide:
  • A digital passport photo (passport photos taken with a person's own digital camera or smart phone can be used - see photo guidelines at onlinephotoguidelines)
  • A valid email address
  • Payment via a credit or debit card
  • If your passport has been lost, stolen or damaged you can still use the Online Passport Renewal Service to apply for a replacement
  • Child renewal applications (under 18) require the verification of identity and the consent of all guardians before a passport can be issued 
BENEFITS OF APPLYING ONLINE - This new online application system is very simple to use. A person is not required to send in the old passport, no witness signature is required (unless it's a minor application), the online renewal takes about 3-5 weeks (as opposed to 8-10 weeks for a renewal using a paper application), and the fee is less (charged in Euros, adult €75, minor €20, + €5 for mailing, about $90 or $35 - versus $125 or $70 when using a paper application).

DON'T QUALITY ONLINE? If you don't qualify to renew your passport online , you must use a paper application form. Send your name and postal mailing address to jkeane@irishconsulseattle.com to be mailed the form. Please include other details on the renewal being requested, e.g., are you an adult, when does your current passport expire, etc.

EMERGENCY TRAVEL? In documented emergencies an Emergency Travel Document can sometimes be issued for urgent travel to Ireland. Note that letters from a hospital or doctor will usually be required to verify a claimed medical emergency. Contact JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com or 425-582-2688 with details of the emergency.
PASSPORT RENEWAL REMINDER 
REMINDER REGISTRATIONTo set up a reminder notification of the date your Irish passport expires, register at  Passport Reminder. A reminder notice will be emailed to you six months before your passport expiration date, and again three months beforehand.
PAPER PASSPORT RENEWALS
If you do not qualify to apply for a renewal online, email jkeane@irishconsulseattle.com to receive a mailed numbered and barcoded paper application form.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE? If you live in the western USA (in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam or the Marianas), you must apply for an Irish passport renewal by mail through the Irish Consulate in San Francisco. If you do not reside in one of those states, you must apply through the Irish Consulate or Embassy which handles where you reside.

PAPER APPLICATION FORMS - At this time t he passport application forms cannot be emailed. You must use an original numbered and barcoded paper application form. To request a form, email your name and postal mailing address to JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com. Please specify that you are requesting a passport renewal form for a Minor or Adult renewal (specify which), the date your passport expires, and the reason you cannot apply online. If you live outside the Pacific Northwest, please contact the Consulate in San Francisco at left.

WHERE TO APPLY?  Irish citizens who reside in the western states of the US must submit their completed and signed paper applications / renewals by mail to:  Consulate General of Ireland, 100 Pine Street #3350, San Francisco, CA 94111
 
PASSPORT PHOTOS? Photos are the most common problem causing passport application delays as the Irish Passport Photo requirements are slightly different from the US Passport Photo requirements, especially as regards poses. US Passport sized photos are accepted but there must be no smile, mouth closed, correct exposure, no colored lenses, and no glare on glasses. The Irish passport's security features include the use of facial biometrics to make forgery difficult and the photo requirements are a key part of that process.
 
FEES? Fees must be paid via bank-certified check or money order -  credit card payments are not accepted. The current paper application fees are $125 for a standard 10-year adult passport, and $70 for a 5-year passport for Minors 17 & under.
 
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? Renewal Passport Applications submitted via postal mail can take 8-12 weeks from the time all the required documentation has been received at the San Francisco Irish Consulate. 
 
LOST / STOLEN PASSPORTS?
If your passport has been lost, stolen or damaged, you can usually use the Online Passport Renewal Service to apply for a replacement. If you do not qualify to apply online, send the details of the loss and the reason you cannot apply online to JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com .

EMERGENCY TRAVEL? In documented emergencies an Emergency Travel Document can sometimes be issued for urgent travel to Ireland. Note that letters from a hospital or doctor will usually be required to verify a claimed medical emergency. Contact JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com or 425-582-2688 with details of the emergency.
FIRST-TIME PASSPORTS
You cannot apply for an Irish Passport unless you can prove that you are an Irish citizen.

ARE YOU AN IRISH CITIZEN? If you were born anywhere on the island of Ireland, then you were an Irish citizen at birth (there are some exceptions if you were born after 2005). If either your mother or father was born on the island of Ireland, you were an Irish citizen at birth. In those two cases, you can immediately apply for an Irish passport which also serves as proof of your Irish citizenship.

HOW TO APPLY? All first-time Irish Passport applications must be submitted on an original numbered and barcoded paper application form which must be sent to you via USPS mail. To be mailed a paper application form, email JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com with your name and postal mailing address. Please include details on the type of request (1st time Irish passport application, adult or minor, how you became an Irish citizen, etc.).

WHERE TO APPLY? Residents of the western states of the US must submit their properly completed and witnessed paper passport applications by mail to: Consulate General of Ireland, 100 Pine Street #3350, San Francisco, CA 94111. 
 
PASSPORT PHOTOS? Photos are the most common problem causing passport application delays as the Irish Passport Photo requirements are slightly different from the US Passport Photo requirements, especially as regards poses. There must be no smile, mouth closed, correct exposure, no colored lenses, and no glare on glasses. The Irish passport's security features include the use of facial biometrics to make forgery difficult and the photo requirements are a key part of that process.

FEES? Fees must be paid via bank-certified check or money order - credit card payments are not accepted. The current fees are $125 for a standard 10-year adult passport, $70 for a 5-year passport for Minors 17 & under.
 
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? First-time Passport Applications can take 12-16 weeks from the time all the required documentation has been received at the San Francisco Irish Consulate.
IRISH CITIZENSHIP
Are you Entitled to claim Irish Citizenship? NOTE:  The process of applying for Irish Citizenship by descent is also called FBR or Foreign Births Registration.

IRISH CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT?
  • A child whose father or mother was born on the island of Ireland is automatically an Irish citizen.
  • A child whose non-Irish-born father or mother was an Irish citizen at the time of the child's birth is entitled to claim Irish citizenship.
  • A child who has at least one grandparent who was born in Ireland is entitled to claim Irish citizenship.
  • A child whose great-grandfather or great-grandmother was born in Ireland may claim Irish citizenship only in rare circumstances, such as when one of the child's non-Irish-born parents had become an Irish citizen before the child's birth. Irish citizenship is not retroactive in this regard.
NOTE:
Unfortunately, you cannot claim Irish citizenship by descent unless you can submit state certified documents that prove:
 
1.         At least one of your four grandparents was born on the island of Ireland
OR
2.         At the time of your birth, one of your parents already was an Irish citizen (for example, if prior to your birth one of your parents had received Irish citizenship by descent from their Irish-born grandparent, etc.).
 
The onus is on the applicant to submit the required documents to prove entitlement to citizenship. In most cases, original state certified long-form civil certificates are required. Those are ones that have been directly issued by a government body (e.g., not a church), regardless of how recently issued. A certificate is usually considered to be certified if it has a government seal or stamp or signature or watermark, etc. Photocopies (even if notarized), census forms, US immigration records, church documents, old passports, DNA results, etc., may not be submitted in lieu of any of the original certificates requested.

Check the detailed requirements for Irish citizenship on the Irish Embassy website or email JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com.

NATURALIZATION:The only other realistic option for getting Irish citizenship would be through naturalization (e.g., after legally residing in Ireland for several years). Click the underlined link for more details on that option.


CLAIMING IRISH CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE? Since 2005, the right to claim Irish citizenship by marriage is no longer available. However, spouses are normally entitled to live and work in Ireland with their Irish citizen spouse or civil partner, and after legal residence in Ireland for 3-5 years, a person can usually then apply for Irish citizenship by Naturalization.

IRISH BIRTH / MARRIAGE / DEATH CERTIFICATES? Order state-certified Irish Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) Certificates at www.Certificates.ie . The cost is about $25 each including postage, and assuming you have all the necessary ordering details, takes about 2 weeks. If the BMD happened in Northern Ireland after 1921, order those certificates at  nidirect.gov.uk .

IRISH GENEALOGY RESOURCES?  For those who need help tracing information on their Irish ancestors, there are many helpful genealogy services in the Seattle area. The Seattle Genealogical Society has an Irish Interest Group that meets on the third Saturday of each month at the SGS library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. Email SGSIrishSIG@gmail.com for details. There's also Bellevue's Family History Center. Click here for more Genealogical Resources as listed by Seattle's Irish Heritage Club. The Irish Heritage Club also has a volunteer genealogist who may be able to help - email  Jean at JeanR@irishclub.org .

OTHER DETAILS ON IRISH CITIZENSHIP? Check the San Francisco Irish Consulate's website for more details on claiming Irish Citizenship.

FEES? Citizenship Application Fees are charged in Euros once the application has been approved, €270 for an adult or €145 for a minor (17 and under). In the past year, the Euro has ranged in value from a high of about $1.25 to a low of about $1.10.
 
HOW LONG? Irish Citizenship Applications take about 6 months for approval after everything required has been received in Ireland.

LOST CERTIFICATES? If you have lost your Irish Citizenship (FBR) Certificate, email JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com for details on how to apply for a replacement certificate . Please include details on when and where you applied for Irish citizenship. 

MOVING TO IRELAND? Irish citizens may live and work anywhere in Ireland and are usually entitled to bring their spouses and minor dependents with them.  For information on Bringing Non-Irish Family Members to Ireland, visit Dublin's Crosscare Migrant Project.
DUAL CITIZENSHIP / DUAL NATIONALITY
IT'S PERMITTED!

Please check with the US Department of State for details but a US citizen is permitted to become a citizen of Ireland (or vice-versa) without any risk to his or her US (or Irish) citizenship. However, US dual citizens must always use a US passport when entering or leaving the United States.   
 
Among the advantages to a US citizen of also having Irish citizenship is that any children born to them after they become an Irish citizen will also be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship. However, Irish citizenship is not retroactive in this regard. Irish passport-holders can also avoid the long non-EU-citizen lines at immigration in European Union (EU) member countries.
 
There are no Irish tax or other obligations assumed by being a dual Irish-US citizen unless a person were to reside in Ireland or do business there. Broader benefits, such as voting, Social Service, discounted college tuition, etc., have residency and other requirements, although there are proposals to extend some voting rights to Irish citizens living abroad. For information on the rights of Irish citizens, visit www.citizensinformation.ie.
IRISH BIRTH/MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES

IRISH CERTIFICATES? Order state-certified Irish Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) Certificates at www.Certificates.ie. The cost is about $25 each including postage, and assuming you have all the necessary ordering details, takes about 2 weeks. If the BMD happened in Northern Ireland after 1921, order those certificates at nidirect.gov.uk.

IRISH VISAS
WHO NEEDS A VISA TO VISIT IRELAND?

Click to read the  Irish Visa Guidelines on the San Francisco Irish Consulate website which  provides detailed information about who does need a visa to visit or to work in Ireland, how to apply, etc. After completing the online application, the signed paper application must be submitted via mail to the the San Francisco Irish Consulate, and a personal visit is not required. Visas cannot be issued by the Honorary Consul in Seattle.  

All Irish Visa Applications must initially be submitted online with the signed paper copy of the application then being mailed to the Irish Consulate in San Francisco. The Fee for a single entry visa is $102 or $157 for multiple entry. Contact JKeane@irishconsulseattle.com for all the details, but do include details on your citizenship (what passport do you carry?), etc.

The normal processing time  for an Irish visa is 2 to 3 weeks once the online application has been submitted, assuming the required backup documentation is all in order and has been received at the Irish Consulate in San Francisco.

TRANSIT VISAS?
Citizens of certain countries must apply for a transit visa if flying through Dublin on the way to another destination. Please visit www.inis.gov.ie for details on applying for a Transit Visa. If the incoming arrival time and the outgoing flights are overnight (e.g., on different days), a Visitor's Visa may be required to permit a person to exit the airport as there are no overnight facilities at Dublin Airport. Travelers cannot stay at the airport overnight.
RETIRING TO IRELAND
WHAT IS NEEDED TO RETIRE IN IRELAND?

This Irish government website discusses the practicalities involved in moving to Ireland from another country.  It covers issues like housing, social security entitlements, taxation, driving licenses, etc.  Www.citizensinformation.ie also provides information on public services and entitlements in Ireland.
 
Not everyone has the right to live in Ireland. Your right to reside in Ireland depends on your nationality and your particular situation. Please visit inis.gov.ie for more detailed information and also for contact information if you have questions.
 
If you are a US citizen, in general, you may enter Ireland as a visitor for up to 90 days without applying for a visa in advance. During those 90 days, you must apply at the local Garda (Police) Headquarters for permission to remain beyond the 90 days. You cannot apply from outside the country and you cannot apply upon entry into Ireland.
 
An extension of the 90 days can only be granted by the Gardaí (Police). Assuming you are in a position to show that you have the resources to cover your stay in Ireland without recourse to public funds, services or State benefits - if you can show you have the necessary finances (annual income of +€50,000), have health insurance coverage, etc. - there usually will not be a problem with being permitted to stay longer in Ireland. Then, after 3-5 years living legally in Ireland, you may qualify to apply for Irish citizenship by Naturalization.

Please direct all inquiries for additional information to the Honorary Consul at JKeane@IrishConsulSeattle.com