I propose to take Questions Nos. 430, 431, 434, 435 and 440 together.
The Passport Service has paused the processing of routine applications while Ireland is at Level 5 of the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. Passport Service staff have been temporarily reassigned to provide consular assistance for Irish citizens overseas.
The Passport Service continues to provide an emergency and urgent service. The emergency service is available for those who are required to travel due to the death or serious illness of a family member or because the applicant requires emergency medical treatment. The urgent service also assists citizens who are resident abroad who require a valid passport for visa purposes or citizens who require a renewal for work purposes.
The Passport Service continues to process all renewals for work-related travel where evidence is provided. Where it is a first time application, the application will be assessed where the applicant has no other citizenship. Adult first time applications require a very high level of verification to protect the integrity of the Irish passport.
Applicants who require a passport for emergency purposes, or to travel for urgent reasons, should contact the Passport Service via our Customer Service Hub Webchat function on our website.
Irish citizens who are resident overseas should make contact through the local Irish Embassy or Consulate General, or WebChat.
The Passport Service has a comprehensive plan in place to resume all services, in line with the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. When operations resume at Level 4, all applications received via Passport Online will be processed. The Passport Service is confident, taking into account measures to ensure a safe workplace, that any Passport Online backlog can be cleared in six to eight weeks.
The Passport Service plans to resume processing of routine paper based applications such as Passport Express, Northern Ireland Passport Express and applications for Foreign Birth Registrations at Level 3 of the framework.