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Passport office getting average of 250 applications a day

Demand rules out any chance of an on-the-spot services for new passports, says Tánaiste.

THE IRISH PASSPORT service cannot facilitate on-the-spot demands for a passport, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has warned.

Speaking in the Dail, Gilmore also said that there may be some advantage in airlines seeking passport validity details at the time of booking flights.

He added that he has asked the Passport Service to keep the possibility of “an international approach to the capture of passenger information in advance of travel” under review.

The Tánaiste said that the passport office has received on average 218 applications per day for the ‘less than ten days’ service, and an average of 42 applications a day for the ‘less than five days’ service this year.

“Included in these numbers are a small group of individuals who arrive from the airport and expect that a passport can be turned around immediately,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is not possible to meet these demands or expectations. The fastest turnaround time for standard applications is three working days. ”

The continued international respect for the integrity of the Irish passport depends on the robust nature of the entitlement checking process and the production of a secure travel document with features which make forgery difficult. These requirements mean that it is not possible to provide an on-the-spot service for the numbers involved at the Passport Service public offices.

Responding to a question in the Dáil from Labour TD Tommy Broughan, Gilmore said that people need to check the validity of their passports “in sufficient time” for renewal ahead of travelling abroad, though he conceded that this did not necessarily mean people would renew or apply for a passport in time either.

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