Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (146)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

146. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will consider introducing a provision which would allow a reduced cost for old age pensioners applying for passports and passport renewals, similar to the provision of passports for under three year olds (details supplied). [5097/14]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

A reduced term of validity for children’s passports is necessary as children’s appearances change significantly within a short period of years, which can lead to uncertainty regarding the identity of the passport holder. This is not generally the case for adults of any age and it is the norm internationally to provide standard validity passports to all adults. Introducing an arrangement whereby adults of any age would be eligible to apply for a passport for a period of less than 10 years would increase the total demand for passports on an ongoing basis and would require the recruitment of additional staff in the Passport Offices to cope with increased demand.

For these reasons, there are no plans to introduce a passport of less than 10 year validity for adult applicants, regardless of age. I would emphasise that the annualised fee for a standard Irish passport compares favourably with many other jurisdictions. The annualised cost of an Irish passport for an adult is €8. This fee has remained unchanged since 2009. The fee compares with approximately €8.60 in the UK, €8.15 (USA), €8.55 (New Zealand), €11.50 (Canada), €8.80 (France) and €8 (Germany).