Online Applications are easiest and quickest

Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Minister Martin Heydon, has encouraged Kildare residents to ensure their passports are up to date before booking their holidays. With up to a fourfold increase in passport applications projected for 2022, people looking to go abroad this summer should submit applications as soon as possible in order to avoid disruptions to travel plans.

Minister Martin Heydon said, “In 2020, 450,000 passports were issued. In 2019, which is probably the best barometer, 900,000 passports were issued. However, this year it is expected that between 1.3 million and 1.7 million passports will be delivered.

“The majority of passport applications are processed in January and February each year, and it’s likely that even more will be processed in the first quarter of 2022 on the back of the easing of restrictions and the Government advice on applying for passports.

“People should be aware of the large demand for passports at present due to reduced volumes applied for and processed last year . There are many children born during the pandemic who have never had a passport and applications for new children take longer than standard renewals. As Kildare families plan holidays over the coming months, I would encourage parents of first time applicants in particular to act as soon as possible to ensure you give the application enough time.

Applicants are encouraged to apply online. “The quickest and easiest way of applying for a passport is to submit your application online. Applying online can be up to four times quicker than applying via post.

“Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has responded to the surge in demand by increasing staff in the Passport Office by 300, from 600 to 900. While this is a 50% increase in staff, it is expected the Office will experience a threefold or even fourfold increase in applications.

“The speedy and efficient processing of passports is a vital component of a successful reopening of society and the economy. This issue is being treated as a priority to ensure everyone who wants a passport can get one in time so that we can support the aviation industry and travel agencies and get back to normality,” concluded Minister Heydon.