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File photo Mark Stedman/

Lose a passport abroad? Getting temporary documents will now be easier

Meanwhile, a €12 million contract to provide a passport processing system in Ireland is being put out to tender.

NEW RULES ADOPTED by the European Parliament aim to make it easier for people whose passports are lost, stolen or damaged when travelling outside the European Union to get temporary documents.

The goal of the new directive is that no EU citizen will be refused when in need of a temporary travel document to get to their final destination.

If an Irish citizen loses their passport in a country where there is no Irish diplomatic mission, they will now be able to secure documentation through the embassy or consulate of another EU member state.

The new temporary travelling document will be valid for a maximum of 15 days and can be used to travel back home. The procedure of verifying applicants’ identity and issuing an emergency travel document for them should take a maximum of four days.

Neale Richmond, Fine Gael Senator and spokesperson on European Affairs, welcomed the “common-sense move”, saying it will “provide reassurance to Irish people on their travels”.

Better security features 

The new legislation also increases the security components of these temporary travel documents – they will have improved facial imaging and machine-readable security features.

In relation to the improved security element, Richmond said: “Much has been done on other areas but up until recently temporary passports were the last unsecured identity documents issued by the EU states leading to abuse by human traffickers while certain countries refused to recognise them.”

He also noted that the Department of Foreign Affairs has improved the process for renewing passports with a new online system as well as speeding up the issuing of emergency passports.


The department is running a tendering process for a Passport Issuance and Processing System. The estimated value of the contract is €12 million.

“The solution being sought will be the main back office processing system and system of record for all passport applications and associated passport holder information,” a statement from the department notes.

The provision of associated services such as implementation of the system, support, maintenance and training will also be part of the agreement.

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