Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): As the Deputy is aware, customers have been experiencing disruption to passport services as a result of ongoing industrial action in the public service. The Department of Foreign Affairs has been advising the pubic of the extent of these problems through media channels and, in particular, via the Department’s website, www.dfa.ie . On 4 March the Passport Service had to withdraw the guarantee of turnaround times for all passport applications.
147. Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the position regarding a passport application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway who received notification of their passport renewal application being received on 16 February 2010; if this will be dealt with in view of the fact that this person is due to travel shortly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14086/10]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): A passport application for the named person was registered with the Passport Office in Balbriggan on 16 March, 2010. It was received through the Passport Express service which is a ten day guarantee service that is provided by the Passport Office in partnership with An Post.
However, due to industrial action the Passport Express guarantee was suspended on 4 March. As a result it is presently taking up to twenty working days to process Passport Express applications. As applications are being processed on a first come first served basis, the application in question will not be processed until mid-April.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): Passport Applications submitted through missions abroad take between four and six weeks under normal circumstances. Due to the ongoing industrial action there is a further delay in the processing of all applications.
Without the application number this application cannot be identified in the system at this point. The applicant should contact the Embassy in Canberra or the Consulate in Sydney for advice and any possible assistance. The contact details are:
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