Applying for an Irish passport should be easier as new measures are introduced
The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has announced that a number of changes will be introduced as part of the application process for an Irish passport.
The biggest addition is an enhanced on-line application tracking service, which allows passport applicants to accurately track the progress of their application via a progress bar and an interactive web-chat that will facilitate “real time” communication between the Passport Service and passport applicants.
Minister Flanagan said: “In 2015 I announced a comprehensive Reform Programme to further modernise Passport Services and ensure they meet citizens needs over the next ten years. The programme is scheduled to run to 2019 and has a combined capital and current investment budget of €18.6 million. It aims to deliver a more efficient, integrated and citizen-focused passport service with an increased emphasis on fraud detection and prevention measures to maintain the integrity of the Irish passport.
“The launch of web-chat and enhanced on-line tracking services will significantly improve the flow of information to Passport applicants. Enhanced tracking means that the applicant now has more accurate and tailored information on when his/her passport will be delivered. It will ease travel planning and reduce the need to contact the Passport Service for updates. If customers have queries, the WebChat channel will provide an interactive reply. This option complements other existing customer service channels including Twitter direct messaging and phone line services.”
The Passport Service was very busy in 2016. It issued a record number of passports - over 730,000 – the highest number of passports in any year to-date.