Aindrias Moynihan: ‘Long journey ahead to fully address substantial passport delays’

Published on: 31 March 2022

While welcoming the increase in passports being issued in the first three months of 2022, Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan says there is still a long way to go to address the substantial delays with applications.


Following a question to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Dáil, Deputy Moynihan commented, “I asked the Minister if all additional staff for the Passport Office are now in place and what improvements have been made on processing times on all types of passport applications.


“While over 264,000 passports have been issued from 1 January to 20 March 2022, compared to 21,000 passports issued over the same period in 2021, the backlog is still substantial and the high demand for passports will only increase as we approach the Summer season. There are currently over 182,000 applications in the Passport Service system.


“The issue of lengthy processing times for first-time passport applications is still causing problems for many people. The Minister stated that it is a priority for the Passport Service to improve processing times in 2022, particularly for first time applicants.”


The Minister added that since June 2021, over 300 members of staff at all grades have been assigned to the Passport Service, with 156 staff joining since the beginning of 2022. The current number of staff at the Passport Service is 774.


The current passport processing times are:

-  10 working days for Simple Adult online renewals

-  15 working days for Complex or child online renewals

-  35 working days for First Time Applications on Passport Online

-  8 weeks for An Post’s mail-in “Passport Express” service


In the case of first time passport applications for children, the consent of guardians must also be thoroughly validated. Due to the intensive analysis and extra measures undertaken by highly trained and experienced staff, first time applications take 35 working days to process.


Deputy Moynihan added: “I strongly urge anyone who is considering travelling overseas this year, particularly families with young children, to check the validity of their passports before booking travel and to apply for their passports online in plenty of time.”