Written answers

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Passport Applications

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fail)
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53. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the estimated timeframe for clearing the existing passport application backlog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22545/21]

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fail)
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55. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of applications for passports currently outstanding as of 26 April 2021 or the latest date available for new passports and for renewals, respectively; the number of applicants who are residents overseas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22547/21]

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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56. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of passports that are currently outstanding as of 26 April 2021 or the latest date available for residents by county; and the number of applications for new passports or for renewals of a passport by county in tabular form . [22550/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 55 and 56 together.

In line with the National Framework on Living with COVID-19, the Passport Service continues to provide a high-quality essential service in line with Government measures to reduce social contact and combat the spread of COVID-19.

This essential service is available for those who are required to travel due to the death or serious illness of a family member or meet the criteria for travel as defined in the recent amendment to the Health Act 1947, which came into effect on 1 February 2021. Supporting documentation is required in such cases.

Applicants who require an urgent or emergency passport can contact the Passport Service via our Customer Service Hub Webchat function on our website.

Irish citizens who are resident overseas should continue to contact the Passport Service through the local Irish Embassy or Consulate General who continue to provide assistance to all our citizens abroad.

Staff of the Passport Service continue to produce emergency and urgent applications, to offer customer service through WebChat, to assist with consular assistance for Irish citizens overseas and temporary reassignment of staff to the Department of Health. As well as issuing more than 3,500 urgent and emergency passports, the Passport Service has also issued approximately 45,000 passports since the beginning of the year. Our Webchat team have also responded to approximately 45,000 queries.

At present, there are approximately 90,000 Passport Online applications in the system. The number of applications in the system that are for applicants resident overseas is approximately 36,000. The return to full operations will commence with all applications received via Passport Online. The Passport Service is confident, taking into account measures to ensure a safe workplace, that any Passport Online backlog can be cleared in six to eight weeks.

The approximate number of online applications per county under process currently in the system is set out in the table below.

County Applications in System
Antrim 4,900
Armagh 1,000
Carlow 400
Cavan 500
Clare 1,000
Cork 4,700
Derry 1,600
Donegal 1,300
Down 3,200
Dublin 17,100
Fermanagh 400
Galway 2,300
Kerry 1,100
Kildare 2,400
Kilkenny 700
Laois 600
Leitrim 300
Limerick 1,800
Longford 300
Louth 1,200
Mayo 1,000
Meath 2,100
Monaghan 400
Offaly 500
Roscommon 500
Sligo 500
Tipperary 1,100
Tyrone 1,200
Waterford 900
Westmeath 800
Wexford 1,100
Wicklow 1,600

The approximate number of online applications per county under process currently in the system, broken down by renewal applications and first time applications, is set out in the table below.

County Renewal FTA
Antrim 1,900 3,000
Armagh 500 500
Carlow 300 100
Cavan 400 100
Clare 900 100
Cork 3,900 800
Derry 900 700
Donegal 1,000 300
Down 1,300 1,900
Dublin 13,800 3,300
Fermanagh 200 200
Galway 1,900 400
Kerry 900 200
Kildare 2,000 400
Kilkenny 600 100
Laois 500 100
Leitrim 200 100
Limerick 1,500 300
Longford 200 100
Louth 1,000 200
Mayo 800 200
Meath 1,700 400
Monaghan 300 100
Offaly 400 100
Roscommon 400 100
Sligo 400 100
Tipperary 900 200
Tyrone 600 600
Waterford 700 200
Westmeath 600 200
Wexford 900 200
Wicklow 1,300 300

These figures are correct to 26 April 2021.

There are currently approximately 1,800 paper based applications in the system. It is not possible to break these down by county. The Passport Service plans to resume processing of routine paper based applications such as Passport Express and Northern Ireland Passport Express as a priority once online applications have been processed.

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