08 Aug 2022

Over 8,000 passports ordered in Laois this year

Passports on line.

Laois residents applied for more than 8,000 passports in the first six months of the year. 

Figures released by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, in response to a parliamentary question by Laois Offaly TD Barry Cowen, show Laois residents applied for 8,243 passports this year.

Minister Coveney said some former Covid Contact Tracers have now been employed to help deal with the high levels of passport processing.    

Deputy Cowen asked for the number of passport applications to date this year. He also requested details of the number of passports issued, along with the number of outstanding applications for passports. 

In response, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney said “the Passport Service is already outperforming any previous year, despite the challenges that it has encountered over the past two years.”

In total in Laois there were 7,090 passports issued in 2022 while 1,399 passports were being processed at the time of the parliamentary question on June 23. Of these 888 were being processed but 511 were awaiting further action from the applicant. 

A similar picture existed in Offaly, where 7,592 applications have been made this year and 6,571 having been processed. Of the total figure, 1,226 are outstanding with 427 requiring further action from the applicants.  

Minister Coveney said nationally over 623,000 passports have been issued this year. This is 105,000 more passports than were issued for the same period in 2019. In the past four weeks, the Passport Service issued an average of 30,000 passports per week.

He revealed that  99% of all child and adult online renewal applications are issued within the standard turnaround time.  “Almost half of all adults who renew their passports online will receive their new passport in the post within two working days,” he added. 

“Processing time for first time applications now takes 25 working days, down from 40 working days in March. In the space of three months, processing time for first-time applications has been reduced by almost 40%,” said Minister Coveney.

“My Department has been proactively planning for this significant increase in demand for many months and have made an unprecedented investment in the staffing and resources necessary to meet this demand,” he remarked. 

He noted that a major recruitment drive has been underway for the passport service sine 2021. “The Department has also been working with the HSE to provide opportunities to contact tracing staff to transfer to the Passport Service. As of 20 June, these staff have begun to be assigned to the Customer Service Hub, which will further increase the number of staff answering customer queries. This recruitment effort will bring staffing numbers at the Passport Service to over 900 which represents double the number of staff with the Passport Service in June of last year,” he stated.

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