The new Irish – Record number of foreigners and renewals getting passports this year – – Our News, Your Views

The new Irish – Record number of foreigners and renewals getting passports this year

One million Irish passports have been issued so far this year, the Foreign Affairs Department said.

This represents the first time more than one million passports have been issued in a calendar year.

This is a significant increase from last year, when 634,000 passports were printed.

The department said the significant increase in the number of passports issued is a result of pent-up demand due to Covid-19 and the reopening of international travel.

The issuance of one million passports in the first ten months of this year surpasses the previous record of 935,000 passports issued for the entire year in 2019.

The passport office said efforts have been made to improve delivery times after delays earlier this year.

It said it is confident there would be no repeat of the delays in issuing registered passports earlier this year.

The bureau added that turnaround times for adult online renewals are now 10 business days and 20 days for first-time online applications.

Passport Service Director Catherine Bannon said many of the delays encountered were related to first-time applications.

“These are more time consuming than renewals because there are more security checks involved. So we have brought those numbers down from a 40-day turnaround in March this year to a 20-day turnaround, which is our target,” Ms Bannon said, reported RTE.

The passport office said it has hired the staff it needs to meet expected demand for next year.

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the passport service faced “unprecedented demand” this year and “substantial improvements” were made, adding that normal pre-Covid levels of service have resumed.

“As we look forward to 2023, if you’re planning on booking international travel, check your passport now and apply early. The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to apply for a new passport is by using the Passport Online Service,” he said, reported RTE.

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