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Record number of Irish passports issued in 2017

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, TD announces

record number of Irish passports issued in 2017


Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, T.D., has announced that over 779,000 passports were issued in 2017.


The Tánaiste said:

“This is the highest number of Irish passports ever issued in one year.  It represents an increase of over 6% compared to 2016 (itself a record-breaking year), and an increase of over 15% since 2015.

The number of applicants from Northern Ireland and Great Britain has continued to rise.  Overall, almost 20% of the total number of applications received by the Passport Service this year were from Irish citizens in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.”

The Passport Service has continued to innovate in how it delivers its service, with an ambitious reform programme to meet the unprecedented demand for passports from Irish citizens at home and abroad, and to continuously strengthen systems guarding against fraud and protecting the integrity of the Irish passport.

The award-winning Online Passport Renewal Service was launched in March of this year. This innovative service means that Irish citizens renewing their passport can do so online anywhere in the world, 24 hours per days, 7 days per week at  In only 9 months of operation to date, over 100,000 passports have issued following online applications.  Online turnaround times are currently well ahead of the target of 10 working days plus postage.

Commenting on the service, the Tánaiste said:

 “The Online Passport Renewal Service has been a particular success.  From Cork to Costa Rica; from Meath to Mozambique; and from Sligo to Singapore - Irish citizens all over the world have availed of the option to renew their Irish passport online, with no requirement for forms, witnesses or printed photos.”

The world-first Passport Card, introduced in 2016, continued to grow in popularity in 2017, with over 38,000 Irish citizens availing of the convenience of travel to all EU, EEA countries plus Switzerland with a credit-card sized passport.

 The Tánaiste also took the opportunity to remind citizens of the need to check the expiry date of their passport and encouraged them to apply outside the peak season:

 "The Department has worked hard in recent years to ensure we provide a modern, secure and efficient passport service. However, it remains very important that prospective travellers check the validity of their passport before booking a trip overseas and apply for their passport in plenty of time.  It's important to note that many countries require incoming visitors to hold passports which are valid for at least six months.

 Citizens who plan to renew their passport in 2018 are strongly encouraged to do so online and in the off-peak period, to ensure the shortest possible renewal time.  Useful information and guidance on the range of channels through which passport applications can be made is available on my Department’s website at  ”

 Minister of State Ciarán Cannon, TD added:

“For those Irish citizens choosing to apply through Irish Embassies and Consulates during 2017, the Irish Consulate in New York retained its distinction as the location with the highest demand for passports, followed by Canberra, San Francisco, Sydney and Pretoria. We will continue to work hard in 2018 to offer the most efficient and user-friendly service possible to Irish citizens worldwide.” 


 Passports by Number in 2017*

Totals YTD


Passport applications            785,026

Passports issued                   779,184



Passports issued to adults     494,297

Passports issued to children  284,887



Passport cards issued                      38,452

Passport cards issued to men           26,154

Passport cards issued to women       12,298



Passports applications by top 20 Missions YTD


  1. New York                   6,345
  2. Canberra                    5,077
  3. San Francisco              4,336
  4. Sydney                       2,990
  5. Pretoria                      2,913
  6. Ottawa                        2,826
  7. Chicago                       2,124
  8. Paris                            1,997
  9. Auckland                     1,870
  10. Boston                        1,667
  11. Berlin                          1,567
  12. Madrid                        1,480
  13. Abu Dhabi                   1,451
  14. Washington                 1,020
  15. Berne                         762
  16. The Hague                  684
  17. Hong Kong                  597
  18. Brussels                      591
  19. Singapore                   509
  20. Riyadh                        435



Most popular names in 2017, based on passport applications for infants YTD


Boys                                    Girls

Jack                                     Emily

James                                  Emma

Conor                                  Aoife

Daniel                                  Grace

Adam                                   Sophie


* Figures accurate to 18 December 2017