Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

13.22 4 May 2021


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The current backlog of passport applications will be cleared in six to eight weeks, the Passport Office has said.

The service has been deemed as essential and work is under way to scale up its operation.

It continued to process emergency applications throughout the pandemic, with around 40,000 passports outside of those urgent applications also processed.

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Siobhan Byrne, Head of the Passport Office, says there are just under 90,000 applications on hand which will be processed in the coming weeks.

She told The Pat Kenny Show that the office would be scaling up its services in response to customers' needs.

Most of the 90,000 outstanding applications are adult renewals which can be worked through quite quickly, Ms Byrne added.

"They are the applications we've managed to process since the beginning of the year, so almost 40,000 of those have already been processed," she said.

"They will be the priority when we return and then looking at child renewals and applications for people who are resident outside the state also.

Ms Byrne explained that the Passport Office is used to dealing with high volumes of applications, with 100,000 previously being worked through in the busiest months prior to the arrival of COVID-19.

This capacity means that the backlog can be cleared relatively quickly.

Passport Office says backlog of applications could be cleared within weeks

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"We're very well equipped with our processes and our systems to manage high volumes of applications," she said.

"Obviously, there's still ongoing challenges with COVID and the amount of resources we can have on site, but we're very confident we'll be able to clear the current backlog in six to eight weeks.

"Applications are always dealt with the date order when they've been received, but in saying that, with adult renewals because the process is so simplified, they are processed quite quickly because we use our systems to the best advantage to process those applications quite quickly.

"We'll deal with them in date order so six to eight weeks, so we would be looking at the end of June at the latest before [people] can expect to receive their passport."

Main image: File photo. Credit: Photo: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

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