November Consulate Corner
Q: How have consular services (e.g. application processing times) been impacted by COVID? Where has the Consulate been focusing their efforts? What have you had to change in terms of support and services?
A: Although the Consulate office has been closed to the public for safety reasons during the pandemic, the Consulate team remains fully operational and continues to provide all regular services. We will not be able to answer individual queries through the Consulate Corner but if you have questions about individual applications etc. you can always reach us via phone at 312 337 2700 or the contact us section of our website www.dfa.ie/chicago.
The Consulate does not play a role in the processing of Foreign Birth Registration applications, these are processed centrally by our colleagues in Ireland. Processing of Foreign Birth Registration resumed on a phased basis from 15 November 2021. Applications that have been sent to the FBR team have been securely held and will now be processed in strict date order. At present, due to the complex nature of the Foreign Birth Registration and the pause in the Service due to the Covid-19 restrictions you should allow approximately 2 years for processing of Foreign Birth Registration applications at this time. Further details on FBR can be found at this website. You can also contact the FBR office directly via webchat at this link.
Once you have received your FBR certificate, you can apply for an Irish passport. All passport applications should be made online. Please note if you have a parent born on the island of Ireland, then you are automatically an Irish citizen and can apply for an Irish passport at any time. Those with a grandparent born on the island need to complete Foreign Birth Registration before they can apply for a passport.
Q: Can you recommend some local resources for Irish language learning and development?
A: We are very lucky in Chicago and the wider Midwest to have an extensive range of Irish language lessons on offer. When Minister Chambers visited Chicago recently he met with some of these Irish language groups as well as representatives from Universities in the region who offer Irish studies as part of their coursework. If you are based in Chicago and interested in learning Irish we suggest you contact one of the groups here offering classes such as Na Gaeil based at the Irish American Heritage Center or Gaeilago based on the south side.
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