Foreign Affairs | Upgrading of passport processing
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which the processing of passports has been upgraded to meet the requirements of applicants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Passports Act, 2008, sets out the legislative basis for processing and issuing Irish passports. To comply with the legislative requirements, meet increased demand and effectively serve Irish citizens globally, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to promote a digital first agenda for the Passport Service.
To date, this has seen the Passport Service deliver transformational change through the introduction of the Passport Online service. Passport Online offers citizens the ability to apply online for their passport 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a user-friendly, efficient and cost-effective service that consistently delivers processing times up to four times faster than paper-based passport applications.
Passport Online is the priority channel for applications due to the many efficiencies built into the system for both the applicant and the Passport Service. All Irish citizens, including children, can use the online system to apply for their passports from almost anywhere in the world. Over 90% of all passport applications, including first time applications, are now being submitted through Passport Online.
The focus of our current communications campaign for Winter-Spring 2023 is to highlight the benefits of Passport Online as the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to apply for a passport. The campaign also reminds citizens to check that their passport is in date.
A continual focus on digital services has also allowed the Passport Service to collaborate across Government. For example, passport applicants can now utilise the government wide MyGovID as an optional service when applying for their passport. The Department will continue to look at ways to work across government to enhance the services we offer citizens.
The Department is also currently working to modernise, improve and protect both the Irish passport as well as the environment and systems that underpin service delivery for our citizens. The Irish passport is currently ranked sixth in the Henley Passport Index and these improvements are essential to maintaining the integrity and status of the Irish Passport.
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