Written answers

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Passport Services

Photo of Alan DillonAlan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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803. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will be issued to 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. [39090/21]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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807. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39170/21]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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808. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39172/21]

Photo of Jennifer Carroll MacNeillJennifer Carroll MacNeill (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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811. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a passport application by a person (details supplied) will be expedited given the extended length of time they have waited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39280/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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813. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a passport application by a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39347/21]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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814. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39358/21]

Photo of Alan DillonAlan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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817. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of passport applications by persons (details supplied); the turnaround time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39451/21]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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818. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue in the case a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39511/21]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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819. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39513/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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822. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will examine the passport application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39575/21]

Photo of Alan DillonAlan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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823. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of a passport application by a person (details supplied); the turnaround timeframe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39586/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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824. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the passport application of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39652/21]

Photo of Alan DillonAlan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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827. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of a passport application by a person (details supplied); the reason it has taken five months to complete; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39707/21]

Photo of Marian HarkinMarian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent)
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828. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39730/21]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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829. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39744/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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830. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the passport application by a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39759/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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831. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the passport application of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39800/21]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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832. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a passport will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39810/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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838. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the passport application of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40091/21]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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841. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when passports will issue in the case persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40207/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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842. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the passport application of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40227/21]

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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855. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when a passport will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40483/21]

Photo of Peadar TóibínPeadar Tóibín (Meath West, Aontú)
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856. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of a passport application for a person (details supplied). [40491/21]

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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865. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the passport application of a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40876/21]

Photo of Martin BrowneMartin Browne (Tipperary, Sinn Fein)
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871. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a matter regarding the case of a passport for a baby (details supplied) will be addressed. [40912/21]

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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877. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of a passport application by a person (details supplied). [41096/21]

Photo of Gary GannonGary Gannon (Dublin Central, Social Democrats)
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878. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of a passport application for a person (details supplied). [41393/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 803, 807, 808, 811, 813, 814, 817, 818, 819, 822, 823, 824, 827, 828, 829, 830, 831, 832, 838, 841, 842, 855, 856, 865, 871, 877 and 878 together.

With regard to the specific applications about which the Deputies have enquired, the Passport Service was in contact with the customers to provide an update on the status of the passport applications.

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 Tracker provides an estimated issue by date for a passport. In the event that any applicant has urgent or emergency reasons for requiring a passport, they should contact the Passport Service’s Customer Service Hub, by phone or WebChat to make the Passport Service aware of their situation.

Photo of Denise MitchellDenise Mitchell (Dublin Bay North, Sinn Fein)
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804. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of passport applications currently delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions; when the backlog will be cleared; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39094/21]

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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806. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when he plans for the Passport Office to reopen. [39145/21]

Photo of Bríd SmithBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance)
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815. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the timeframe for all backlogged applications for passports to be cleared; the emergency procedures in place for persons who must undertake travel to other countries but are affected by the current delays in passport application processing and by the delays in the registration of births as a result of the cyberattack; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39400/21]

Photo of Violet WynneViolet Wynne (Clare, Sinn Fein)
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835. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the current reopening of the Passport Office; the number of applications and renewals outstanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39838/21]

Photo of Chris AndrewsChris Andrews (Dublin Bay South, Sinn Fein)
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836. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of passport applications currently waiting to be processed; the number that are overdue; the number that would need to be done on a weekly basis to get on top of the backlog; and the resources that were allocated to the passport office to get through the backlog. [39857/21]

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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846. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of standard passport applications and renewals that have been processed to date in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40232/21]

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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847. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of standard passport applications and renewals that are currently awaiting processing to date in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40233/21]

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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848. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of standard passport applications that are awaiting processing to date in 2021, by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40234/21]

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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849. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the current turnaround times for new passport applications and passport renewals broken down by online and paper applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40235/21]

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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850. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when the passport office in Dublin will be reopening for appointments for the rapid renewal passport service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40236/21]

Photo of Michael McNamaraMichael McNamara (Clare, Independent)
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852. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when both the Cork and Dublin passport offices will reopen to the public given that international travel has resumed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40303/21]

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
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857. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when the passport offices will reopen. [40592/21]

Photo of Ruairi Ó MurchúRuairi Ó Murchú (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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876. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the current passport office backlog of passport applications; his plans to address these delays specifically in relation to expediting child passport applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41020/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 804, 806, 815, 835, 836, 846, 847, 848, 849, 850, 852, 857 and 876 together.

The Passport Service commenced the scaling up of operations on 4 May 2021 in line with the phased easing of restrictions set out in “COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – The Plan Ahead”.

The Service has been focused since then on four priority areas.

- Clearing the COVID-19 backlog of 89,000 passport applications.

- Processing all adult renewal applications (including new applications) within 10 working days.

- Processing urgent and emergency applications.

- Providing customer services through our telephone and WebChat team.

Very substantial progress has been made in clearing the COVID-19 backlog: all backlog applications which were completed properly have been processed and related passports issued. As regards incomplete COVID-19 backlog applications, the Passport Service has been in contact with the applicants regarding the need to send in outstanding documents. Once all outstanding required documentation is received, issuance of passports will be expedited.

The Passport Service has issued approximately 375,000 passports to date in 2021.

The number of applications in the system currently stands at approximately 112,000 book and card applications. The applications can be split as incomplete applications standing at 50,000 (where the Passport Service is awaiting further documentation), with 62,000 applications with the Passport Service. These figures are accurate to 22 July 2021.

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

County Applications
ANTRIM 4,878
ARMAGH 1,036
CARLOW 495
CAVAN 592
CLARE 910
CORK 4,596
DERRY 1,495
DONEGAL 1,176
DOWN 3,322
DUBLIN 15,250
FERMANAGH 365
GALWAY 2,268
KERRY 1,122
KILDARE 2,393
KILKENNY 727
LAOIS 691
LEITRIM 234
LIMERICK 1,707
LONGFORD 365
LOUTH 1,294
MAYO 963
MEATH 2,058
MONAGHAN 419
OFFALY 549
ROSCOMMON 465
SLIGO 489
TIPPERARY 1,212
TYRONE 1,186
WATERFORD 955
WESTMEATH 685
WEXFORD 1,193
WICKLOW 1,432

These figures are correct to 22 July 2021.

The average possessing time or wait time for a new passport varies depending on a number of key factors including;

- The nature of the application - first time application or a renewal of existing.

- Whether a passport is for a minor or an adult.

- If the application is completed correctly and supported by all necessary documentation in the first instance.

- If the photograph supplied by the applicant met the criteria as described in detail on the application website.

The onus is on the applicant to provide documentation demonstrating their entitlement to an Irish passport. Birth Certificates which are issued by the General Register Office (GRO) must be submitted in support of a passport application to prove this entitlement. Neither Baptismal Certificates nor any other non-civil form of documentation can be considered in support of a first time passport application.

With regard to Passport Online applications, the average time currently for simple adult renewals is 10 working days; complex renewals, including children, is 15 working days and 40 working days for first time applicants.

Passport Express resumed processing on 19 July. The current estimated turnaround time for these applications is eight weeks.

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 Public Offices in Dublin and Cork are closed at the moment. This is to allow all of our staff work on processing passport applications. Customers should not attend our public offices as they will not be able to speak to a member of staff or submit documents.

In the event that any applicant has urgent or emergency reasons for requiring a passport, they should contact the Passport Service’s Customer Service Hub, by phone or WebChat, to make the Passport Service aware of their situation

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