Concern over passport changes

Sinn F�in councillor Colin Kelly pictured with teh new Irish passport forms. (0401MM06)
Sinn F�in councillor Colin Kelly pictured with teh new Irish passport forms. (0401MM06)

A local councillor has called on the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin to provide more information about changes to Irish passport application forms.

Sinn Féin councillor Colin Kelly made the call after the application process was changed last month.

Colr Kelly said many local applicants are not aware that they need additional documents to prove their identity and some could face delays in receiving their passport.

“Previously, applicants had to submit two photographs, one of which had to be signed by a witness from the approved list, such as an elected representative - that criteria has now changed to four photographs, two of which have to now be signed.

“New provisos also state that an additional form of photo ID, such as a copy of a drivers’ licence, student card, social club membership or a passport from another country must be submitted,” he said.

Colr. Kelly raised concerns about the lack of information about the changes. “While I can understand the rationale and perceived need to tighten up on passport application verification, especially in light of the use of Irish passports by Israeli assassins in Dubai last year, I do not think enough information has been given to the general public or individuals who would be dealing with application forms on a daily basis, including Sinn Féin representatives and the advice workers in our constituency offices.”

The Sinn Féin colr added; “I certainly have not seen any changes to the application forms or guidance notes and this is something which needs to be addressed by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.

“My biggest concern is that when people arrive to our offices with what they believe to be a completed application, they may have to find additional pieces of proof of identity, which in many cases will prolong the process.”