Urging those who plan on travelling this year to check their passport
A projected threefold increase in passport applications for 2022, coupled with more people looking to go abroad this summer has prompted Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins to encourage people to check their passports and submit applications for first time passports and renewals as soon as possible in order to avoid disruptions to travel plans.
Senator Cummins said “People need to be made aware of the phenomenal demand out there for passports at the moment. My office has received an unprecedented amount of calls with regard passports and this has increased in recent weeks as Covid restrictions have been eased and people once again look forward to going on holidays or being reunited with family abroad“.
“Throughout the pandemic, there have been many children born who don’t yet have a passport. As families plan holidays over the coming months, I would encourage parents of first-time applicants in particular to act immediately in order to get ahead of the curve, Senator Cummins said.
Advising the people of Waterford to be prepared Senator Cummins outlined the best practice when applying for a passport, “the most efficient way to apply for a Passport is using the Passport Online service, whether it is for a first-time application or an adult/child renewal. I am also advising people that if you are unsure of the most appropriate application or if you have urgent travel, to get in contact with my office and we can advise on the best route to take.”
Senator Cummins also advised those applying to take particular note of the guidelines, ensuring the correct criteria for a photograph is noted and all the correct documentation supplied as this will avoid unnecessary delays in processing.
“The standard turnaround time for first time applications at present is approximately 8 weeks, while online child and adult renewals take on average 15 working days. It is important that appropriate time is given for first time applications, particularly if these applications are complex. For example, if one or both parents were not born in Ireland. The reason for delays in these applications is that the passport office must rely on the government departments of third countries to respond. These applications take a minimum of 40 working days and can take longer.
Urging people to apply in plenty of time Senator Cummins continued “It is important to note that, traditional paper applications take a minimum of 8 weeks and cannot be expedited. The estimated issue date is very much an estimate and I would advise people not to book flights based on this date.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has responded to the surge in demand by increasing staff in the Passport Office to over 700 from 460 last summer, with the number employed expected to reach 900 in March.
The Fine Gael group in the Seanad have tabled a private members motion, to be taken this evening (Wednesday 02/02/22), calling for speedy and efficient processing of passports as a vital component of a successful reopening of society and the economy. Senator Cummins concluded by saying “This issue must be treated as an emergency and the appropriate resources deployed to ensure everyone who wants a passport can get one in a timely fashion. Supporting the tourism and aviation sector which has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic must be a priority”.
If you require assistance with the passport process Senator John Cummins office can be contacted on 085-1090927 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org