Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
249. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport is likely to be issued for a person (details supplied); the reason the due date on the online passport tracker has not been updated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38929/21]
With regard to the specific application about which the Deputy has enquired, the Passport Service was in contact with the applicant on 14 July to provide an update on the status of the passport application and requested necessary documentation not originally provided by applicant.
The Passport Service scaled up 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 the Passport Online applications on hand can be cleared in six to eight weeks.