Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Passport Service scaled up to more normal operational levels on 4 May 2021, in line with the phased easing of restrictions set out in “COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – The Plan Ahead”.
Passport Online will continue to be the priority channel given the efficiencies that are in-built into the system for both the applicant and the Passport Service. The processing of an online application is up to four times as fast as a paper application. In addition, the use of Passport Online can facilitate social distancing, given that a renewal application for an adult does not require the signature of a witness.
Passport Online can be accessed by first time applicants, both children and adults, in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. All Irish citizens, including children, can use the online system to renew their passports from anywhere in the world.
The Passport Service has a great deal of experience in dealing with peaks in demand, and we are confident, taking into account measures to ensure a safe workplace, that any Passport Online backlog can be cleared in six to eight weeks.
The Passport Service plans to resume processing of paper based applications such as Passport Express and Northern Ireland Passport Express as soon as possible. There are currently approximately 1,600 paper based applications in the system.