head 3

Warning not to book tickets for foreign travel if you do not have a valid passport

DUBLIN: The government has advised people who do not have a valid passport not to book flights or holidays. The instruction was issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs because the Passport Office is presently experiencing high demand for its services.

According to department sources, a large number of applications for new passports and renewals are currently being received, which will cause the processing time to be delayed. At present, it takes up to 10-15 working days to renew a passport, while first applications take up to 40 working days.

With the introduction of foreign travel permits, those who had not applied for or renewed their passports since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have begun to do so. As a result, Passport Office is now facing high demand for its services.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney wrote to Oireachtas members on Thursday evening, saying, “Our strong advice to citizens is not to book travel until you are in possession of a valid passport”.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has issued over 400,000 passport books and cards this year and that it has now returned to a full service. The department also noted that due to the complexity of first-time applications, it cannot be expedited, and their processing may take longer if the appropriate supporting documents are not provided.

The Passport Office’s staff shortage has resulted in increased congestion, and Minister Coveney said the department will finalise a recruitment campaign for more staff for the service in September.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs John Brady said minister’s inaction in not recruiting enough staff had led individuals to cancel their international travel plans.

The Irish Travel Agents Association has expressed its frustration and disappointment with the delays in passport issuance. The association CEO Pat Dawson said it is a setback for individuals who want to travel as well as the tourism sector. He added that delays are unacceptable for an industry trying to regain their business.

Kindly click the link below to join WhatsApp group chat to get important news and breaking news from Irish Samachar


Comments are closed.