Foreign Adoption

For contact information concerning Foreign Adoption please seeáForeign Adoption Contact Detailsá

This information is intended to assist applicants in their dealings with Foreign Adoption Unit.
As such it does not constitute legal advice and is intended for guidance purposes only.

Frequently asked questions.

What is an Immigration Clearance letter?
An immigration clearance letter is a process whereby prospective persons who wish to adopt a child from outside the State are issued with permission to bring the child into the State. This letter is issued in lieu of a visa to allow a child from a specified country safe passage through Immigration controls into the State.

Who needs to apply for an immigration clearance letter?
The permission is required by Irish nationals or persons resident in Ireland who have been deemed suitable parents to adopt by the Adoption Authority of Ireland and who wish to adopt a non national child from outside the State.

How do I apply?
You will need to submit the following:

  • Original Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability from the Adoption Authority of Ireland regarding the prospective parents.
  • Letter from the Adoption Authority of Ireland stating how many children you are eligible to adopt and what country you are adopting from.
  • 2 Passport size photographs of each applicant

They should be :á

  • No more than 6 months old
  • Minimum size 35mm x 45mm
  • Maximum size 38mm x 50mm
  • Sharp and clear and taken against a plain white or light grey background
  • Sunglasses are not acceptable

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  • Photocopies of the prospective parents passports.
  • Covering letter of application to includeáa daytime contact number.

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Applications must be made in writing to the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service and may be addressed to:

Foreign Adoptions Unit
Residence Division
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
3rdáFloor, 13-14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2

Email Queries:áINISfadopt@justice.ie


Must I submit the original Declaration from the Adoption Authority of Ireland?
The original declaration must be submitted but it is recognised that the declaration is an important document. Therefore it is advised that all papers should be submitted by registered post and will be returned by registered post.

How can I contact the Department regarding my application?
Enquiries can be made by post or email. Postal address is at the bottom of thisápage. Email queries can be forwarded to
áINISfadopt@justice.ie

How long does it take to process my application?
The maximum processing time for applications is 5 working days. However it will often be processed quicker.

What if I require an extension on my existing Clearance letter?
If you require an extension of an existing Immigration Clearance letter you must submit the following:

  1. Original Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability from the Adoption Authority of Ireland with the appropriate extension included
  2. Two passport size photographs of each applicant
  3. Covering note requesting the extension of the clearance letter and confirming the country of origin of the child to be adopted
  4. The return of the original Immigration clearance letter is also required before a new letter can issue
  5. Copies of each applicant's passport (Photo Page only)

A new Immigration Clearance letter will be issued in this circumstance.

What if I require to change country of adoption?

If you require to change country of adoption you must submit the following:

  1. Original Declaration of Eligibility and Suitability from the Adoption Authority of Ireland
  2. Letter from Adoption Authority of Ireland stating number of children and country of adoption
  3. Two passport size photographs of each applicant
  4. Covering letter to include a contact telephone number
  5. Copies of each applicant's passport (Photo Page only)

Foreign Adoption Unit
Residence Division
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
Department of Justice and Equality

April 2014

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