I propose to take Questions Nos. 803, 807, 808, 811, 813, 814, 817, 818, 819, 822, 823, 824, 827, 828, 829, 830, 831, 832, 838, 841, 842, 855, 856, 865, 871, 877 and 878 together.
With regard to the specific applications about which the Deputies have enquired, the Passport Service was in contact with the customers to provide an update on the status of the passport applications.
The Passport Service scaled up operational levels on 4 May 2021, in line with the phased easing of restrictions set out in “COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – The Plan Ahead”.
Passport Online will continue to be the priority channel given the efficiencies that are in-built into the system for both the applicant and the Passport Service. The processing of an online application is up to four times as fast as a paper application. In addition, the use of Passport Online can facilitate social distancing, given that a renewal application for an adult does not require the signature of a witness.
Passport Online can be accessed by first time applicants, both children and adults, in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. All Irish citizens, including children, can use the online system to renew their passports from anywhere in the world.
The Passport Tracker provides an estimated issue by date for a passport. In the event that any applicant has urgent or emergency reasons for requiring a passport, they should contact the Passport Service’s Customer Service Hub, by phone or WebChat to make the Passport Service aware of their situation.