Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (102)

Bernard Durkan


102. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the progress to date in the determination of passport applications in the cases of persons (details supplied); when the application process has concluded and if successful, if the passports applied for through the Irish Embassy in Ottawa can be returned in one package to a person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28330/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

One of the four applications referred to is for the renewal of an existing Irish passport and was submitted via the online renewal system.

The remaining three applications are paper-based applications which were submitted by the applicants to the Embassy in Ottawa on 26 June and are currently at the initial registration stage.  These applications will be processed under the terms of the Passports Act 2008, which provides, inter alia, that only Irish citizens are entitled to hold Irish passports. Citizenship is determined by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956.

Due to a public holiday in Canada and the subsequent closure of the Embassy in Ottawa, it is not possible at this time to make enquiries as to the citizenship entitlement of the applicants who chose the paper-based route and to establish if all relevant information has been provided. The Passport Service will request that Embassy in Ottawa makes contact with the applicants, after the public holiday, to confirm that the applications have been made in the appropriate manner and are ready to be processed.

With regard to the query on the method by which passports will be returned to the applicants, it is important to note that online and paper based applications are processed differently.

Paper applications received at a mission are, after the appropriate checks have been completed by consular staff, processed and subsequently printed in Ireland before being sent back to the originating mission for dispatch to applicants.

The Passport Service is currently in its peak season for passport demand with the vast majority of applications being received between February and August each year. The current turnaround time for paper applications submitted through our Missions is 37 working days plus postage time.  The three paper applications, once processed, will be sent via the Embassy in Ottawa in one package to the address requested.

When applicants resident in Canada select the online renewal application channel, the passport is sent to the address specified by the applicant in their online application. This passport will not therefore be included in the package with the other three passports.  Online passport applications are currently being processed within a turnaround time of 10 working days plus postage time.

The online passport renewal service is available to Irish citizens who have previously held an Irish passport which has not expired by more than five years. All applicants who are applying for a first Irish passport must continue to make a paper-based application.