Rice, who has played in three Republic of Ireland friendly games against Turkey, France and US, said he had called Mick McCarthy and Gareth Southgate on Wednesday to inform them of a decision he described as "extremely difficult".
The 20-year-old was given his senior Ireland debut by former manager Martin O'Neill in a friendly worldwide against Turkey last March and has made two other appearances, but has yet to represent them in a competitive match, ...
"This afternoon I telephoned both (Ireland manager) Mick McCarthy and (England boss) Gareth Southgate to inform them of my decision to submit a written request to Federation Internationale de Football Association for the transfer of my global registration from the Republic of Ireland to England", Rice said in a long statement on his Twitter account.
"This has been an extremely hard decision", Rice tweeted in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Rice, who has made 59 appearances for West Ham, has excelled this season in a defensive midfield role for the Hammers.
"In recent weeks and months, I have discussed the situation with the people who mean the most to me".
"I fully accept that some Irish supporters will be disappointed ..." Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy said in a brief statement.
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy spoke about the news in a press conference, saying: "Declan rang me today and said he has chose to give it a go with England".
Rice said: "My pride at wearing the Irish shirt was always 100 percent genuine", but added that he hopes to be called up by England because that's "best for my future". "Good luck to him", McCarthy said.
Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this story.