Minister Cowen announces extension of ‘Passport Express' service to Northern Ireland and Great Britain


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Brian Cowen, TD, today announced an extension of the 'Passport Express' service to Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Under these arrangements, applicants may obtain application forms and also apply for their passport through selected post offices and, subject to the application being in order, receive their passport back in 10 working days.

This service is being set up on a trial basis, with effect from 6 March, in 5 locations in Northern Ireland [Derry, Newry, Enniskillen and two in Belfast] and also in Liverpool and Glasgow. Subject to a satisfactory take up of the service it is hoped that it will be further extended within Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The Minister said ' I am happy that agreement has been reached between my Department, the Royal Mail and An Post whereby a level of service, comparable to the 'Passport Express' service currently enjoyed by persons in the State, can now be accessed by Irish citizens in Northern Ireland and Great Britain'.

Note for editors

The new service will be available, initially on a 6 month trial basis, through the following main Post Offices -

Northern Ireland - Derry [Custom House Square], Newry [Hill Street], Enniskillen [East Bridge Street], Belfast [Castle Place and Kennedy Centre]

Great Britain - Liverpool [Lyceum] and Glasgow [St Vincents].

Persons will be able to collect passport application forms at these Post Offices and also avail of a 'Passport Express' service available through these Post Offices.

The service to be provided will be comparable to the 'Passport Express' service currently operated between the Passport Office and An Post in the State whereby applications submitted through a Post office, if in order, will be processed and the new passport issued within 10 working days.

Applicants will pay a handling charge of £5.50 to the Royal Mail for the service. This will include the transmission of the application by Swiftpost, ie next day delivery, to the Passport Office in Dublin in the case of applicants from Northern Ireland, and to the Embassy of Ireland in London in the case of Liverpool and Glasgow applicants. The applicant will also pay the relevant passport fee and a portion of the return postage cost directly to the Post Office which will be remitted to the Passport Office/London Embassy. In the case of the standard 10 year passport this will amount to £36.50 for applicants from Northen Ireland [£35 passport fee plus £1.5 towards Swiftpost return postage] and £37.50 for Great Britain [£35 passport fee plus £2.5 towards Swiftpost return postage due to higher postage charges in Great Britain].

It is hoped to extend the service further throughout Northern Ireland and Great Britain, at the end of the 6 month trial period, subject to a satisfactory take up of the service.

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