There is already a backlog in passport office ahead of summer holidays

Application: Don't miss out on your summer break. © File Photo
Application: Don't miss out on your summer break. © File Photo

Planning your summer holidays?  Before you book that much-needed break, make sure that you and your family have a valid passport.

Expectant travellers are usually advised to apply for their passport at least six weeks prior to departure. However, Passport Express service ensures that properly completed renewal applications will normally be processed in 15 working days or 20 working days for first-time applicants.

The latest turnaround times advertised on the Department of Foreign Affairs website states that Passport Express applications submitted in Ireland and Great Britain will be processed in16 working days, just over three weeks while first-time applications can take 23 working days, almost five weeks.

These times are based on 'current averages' so some applications are taking longer. 

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There has already been a huge increase in applications from the UK post Brexit and the recent announcement that Teresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29th may encourage another surge.

Travellers from the North have already been advised to apply at least SEVEN weeks before their departure date.

Sinn Fein Derry City and Strabane District Councillor Colly Kelly told Derry Now that he has 'been advised that there are major delays with passport processing as there are over 60,000 passports currently in the system. Brexit is having a major impact!

'The standard '15 day Passport Express' is not returning Passports in this time frame.

'Therefore, please make sure to give them at least 28-35 working days to return your passport before you travel'.

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