Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (77)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

77. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the passport waiting times at present; the length of time online applications are taking to process; the length of time postal express applications are taking to complete; the number of applications the Passport Office has dealt with to date in 2019; if this number is up on 2018 for the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42706/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Passport Service offers a range of convenient channels for the submission of passport applications by Irish citizens at home or abroad. These include an online passport renewal service, a postal application system, known as Passport Express, and a counter service for applicants who have immediate travel plans.

The online service brings significant benefits for citizens with over 30% of all online applications issuing in less than a week and all applications therough the online channel having a turnaround time of less than 10 working days plus postage time. In addition, the cost of renewing a passport online is cheaper than alternative methods, with fees for all online applications being reduced by €5 across all application types.

The current processing times for postal applications submitted through Passport Express depend on the category of application. The turnaround time for renewal applications is currently 11 working days plus postage time, 4 days ahead of the target turnaround time of 15 working days. First time applications and applications from citizens who are applying to replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport are being processed in 15 working days plus postage time, 5 days ahead of the target turnaround time of 20 working days.

From January 2019 to 30 September 2019, the passport service received 742,715 passport applications. This compares to 680,768 passport applications received from January 2018 to 30 September 2018.