The second week in January is one of the most popular times of year for booking holidays.
Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan has encouraged prospective holiday-makers to make sure that their passports will still be valid come June.
Last year a record-breaking 900,000 Irish passports were issued by the Passport Service representing a seven per cent increase on 2018, and the average turnaround time per application is between 15 to 18 working days.
“Apparently this is one of the busiest weeks of the year for booking your summer holidays. Wouldn’t do any harm to check your passport and make sure it’s in date,” said Mr. Durkan.
Such is the demand for the coveted document, which is held by Irish people as diverse as actor Martin Sheen and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, that waiting times can lengthen.
“At present it’s taking between two to three weeks to process applications but as we get closer to the summer this tends to slow down and can take up to six weeks,” cautioned Mr. Durkan.
Last year during peak periods, over 5,800 applications were submitted to the Passport Service from around the world in a single day. Total monthly applications exceeded 100,000 in January, March, April and May in 2019.
Mr. Durkan said: “If you are planning to travel during the summer months, please check your passport is in date now.”
He advised that his constituency office has plenty of application forms if anyone needs them.
“You can renew your application online, but many people still prefer the old style application process. If you need a form or need your application countersigned don’t be afraid to get in touch,” he said.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney T.D., said: “I would remind all prospective travellers check the validity of their passport before booking a trip overseas.
“If you need to renew your passport, I encourage you to do so online and in the off-peak period, to ensure the shortest possible renewal time.”