Lucky passport

The April ’05 “Discerning Traveler” column deals with getting a second passport. There is one significant group of people that has the chance to get a legitimate foreign passport: people who have one grandparent born in Ireland. If you are in this crowd, you are entitled to become an Irish citizen.

You must register with the nearest Irish embassy or consulate by providing official documentation: birth, marriage and any death certificates of your grandparent and parent as well as your own birth certificate and a few other items.

In order to get certified copies of your grandparent’s records, you will need to have some idea of his or her birth date and birthplace so that the records can be located. You can do the search yourself or employ a genealogical agency.

Once the Irish officials accept the documents and enter you in the Irish Register of Foreign Births, it is a simple procedure to request an Irish passport. Since the Irish are members of the European Union, the passport is an E.U. passport.

The cost for the registry is under $200, while the passport costs less than $100. Note, however, that it can take up to a year or longer for your papers to be processed. Details are available from the Irish government at the website; click on “Moving Country.”

Borrego Springs, CA