Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Doherty urges everyone to check their passports are up to date

Passports are now taking up to 3 weeks to process

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, is encouraging people to check their passports are up to date if they’re planning a trip in the coming weeks or months, as it’s taking up to 3 weeks at the moment for a passport to be issued.

“I’ve had numerous requests from constituents in recent weeks, who are worried that they won’t receive their passports on time.

“I’ve raised this with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who’s informed me that from the beginning of the year to the start of April over 180,000 passports were issued. This represents a significant increase in applications, compared to the same period last year.

“Figures reveal that the Passport Service has processed almost 120,000 applications via the Passport Express service so far this year and of these over 60,000 have taken more than the ten day target to process. I’ve been informed that Passport Express applications are currently being processed within 11/12 working days. All applications which were submitted in person at the Passport Offices met the guideline turnaround times.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs has informed me that to respond to the anticipated increase in seasonal demand the Passport Service has recruited additional temporary Clerical Officers. The Minister has assured me that the Passport Service will continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure that the impact of the high volume of demand on turnaround times is minimised.

“This is the time of year when many of us start thinking about holidays and I would encourage everyone who is planning to travel aboard in the coming months to apply for passports at least six weeks in advance of any planned trip to avoid disappointment.”

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