Number of new and renewal passport applications respectively in the system; the target turnaround time for each category of applicant
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of new and renewal passport applications respectively in the system; the target turnaround time for each category of applicant; the actual turnaround time for each category of applicant; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
For PRIORITY answer on Tuesday, 30th May, 2017.
Ref No: 25613/17 Lottery: 1 Proof: 64
PQ Type changed from ---> Oral; (White No - 38; on 30/05/2017)
As of 26 May, there were almost 80,000 passport applications in the processing system. Of these, approximately 34,000 were first-time applications and 46,000 were renewals.
The turnaround time for online applications is 10 working days plus postage.
The target turnaround time for Passport Express renewal applications is 15 working days and this is currently being met.
The target turnaround time for first-time applications and applications for renewal of lost, stolen or damaged passports through Passport Express is 20 working days. These categories of application take longer due to the extra security checks involved.
The average turnaround time for these applications is currently 24 working days. This is mainly as a result of the exceptionally large volume of applications in the processing system.
As more applicants use the Online Passport Application Service, the efficiency gains will help improve turnaround times more broadly. I urge all Deputies to promote the use of this service to all adults who qualify.
I would like to take the opportunity also to reiterate how important it is that applicants choose the most appropriate application channel, depending on their individual circumstances. The Passport Express option should only be used by those who are travelling in three weeks or more. Anyone renewing a passport who needs to travel in under three weeks should make an appointment online to apply in person at the Passport Offices in either Dublin or Cork. However, naturally there is a limited number of such appointments available and it is very important that we collectively promote best practice and encourage citizens to check their passport is in date before booking travel. It is considered best practice to allow six weeks for a passport application as difficulties can arise where an application is incomplete.
My Department provides a free renewal reminder email service and, again, I would ask Deputies to join me in promoting the use of this service.
All applicants are advised on notes accompanying the passport application form to check current turnaround times online on website of my Department. These are updated weekly.