Thursday 27 April 2017

Euro 2016 fans warned over passport backlog

More than 50,000 Irish soccer fans are expected to flock to France to cheer on the lads at the Euro 2016 finals. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
More than 50,000 Irish soccer fans are expected to flock to France to cheer on the lads at the Euro 2016 finals. Photo: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Ireland fans will head to France in their tens of thousands. Photo: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images
Demand for passports has steadily risen throughout 2016

Claire McCormack

Fans hoping to witness the Boys in Green take on Sweden at the Stade de France in Paris on June 13 must get their travel plans in order as the passport service hits "peak season".

With the 2016 UEFA European Championship just 19 days away, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is advising Irish supporters to submit applications for a passport renewal in person rather than by post.

A spokeswoman for the DFA said: "If travelling in under three weeks (15 working days) applicants are advised to use the Passport Office website to make an appointment to submit their application in person at the Passport Office in Dublin or Cork".

"If travelling in three weeks or more customers should use Passport Express. It's peak season at the moment with 71,456 applications currently in the system," she said.

First-time applications take longer than a renewal as there are additional requirements. Incomplete applications can cause delays.

The service has experienced a sustained increase in demand throughout 2016 - around 15pc higher than last year. Demand is expected to remain very high in the coming months.

Sunday Independent

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