Parliamentary Question on passport waiting times4/7/13
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the current expected and waiting times for all the various forms of applying for a passport, including the Passport Express Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Andrew Doyle.
* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 4th July, 2013.
Passport demand in Ireland is seasonal. Almost 50% of all passport applications are received in the four months April–July. Currently the passport service is receiving almost 19,000 applications a week. This contrasts with 8,000 applications per week in December. For this reason, as we advise applicants on the information note accompanying the form and our website, during the peak summer period application processing times for this service can lengthen.
Due to the present surge in demand, the turnaround time for passport express applications received through the Passport Express system is currently running between 11 and 12 working days, rather than the normal 10 working days. Measures have been taken to return current turnaround times back to standard service levels at the earliest opportunity. The Passport Service regrets the delay and any difficulties caused in this regard.
For those who have non-emergency urgent travel, the Passport Service now operates an appointment system and extended opening hours in our Molesworth St office. People can also attend our Cork public office. It should be noted however that the minimum turn around time for a passport is 3 working days. Approximately 20% of applications submitted to the public counter are processed in less than 5 working days as these passports are required for non-emergency urgent travel. Non urgent applications received at the public counter are processed in 15 days and first time adult applicants, which require more stringent checking, and who apply at the counter have a 20 day turnaround.
As previously advised to the House with effect from 30 June 2013, applications received by regular and registered post are no longer being processed and are being returned to the applicant. Announcements to this effect were placed in daily papers both north and south as well as in a range of Sunday titles. Many local papers have carried stories about the changes. Additionally the Director of Passport Services was interviewed by national and local radio stations. Our website prominently displayed this information as did our twitter account.
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