The following press release was issued recently by the Irish Embassy contained wise advice for all ex-pats who might be thinking of travelling to their home country for Christmas. However some of the specific information in the following release does apply to the Irish Embassy and Irish passport holders only.
Please take a moment to check the expiry date on your passport. You should always apply for your new passport at least three months before your current passport expires. People often realise at the last minute that their passport has expired and at peak periods, such as December or in the lead-up to the summer holidays, it can be very difficult for us to turn the application around in time for you to travel. Passports can take up to 10 weeks to process from the date a correctly completed application form with the required supporting documentation is received here at the Passport Section in the Embassy. This means that if you need a new passport for Christmas travel you should apply without delay.
Don’t forget, should you need to travel while your passport application is being processed, you can still do so if your current passport remains valid. We can return your current passport to you if you provide a prepaid self-addressed envelope, or you can go to your nearest Honorary Consulate or to the Embassy to get a copy stamped instead of sending us the original
Unfortunately, approximately half of all passport applications we receive at the Embassy contain errors, some so fundamental that the applicant has to apply afresh. This can be very frustrating for the applicant and contributes to longer processing times for everyone.
Common mistakes in filling in the form: read this and avoid them!
• Have you included the expiry date of your credit card?
• Has the credit card holder signed?
• Make sure your signature fits inside the box in Section 8!
• Take your time on section 8 and 9: if you make a mistake here, the entire application is void.
• Take care with your photos. Follow carefully the photo guidelines provided with the form. Don’t forget that the witness must write the form number on the back of your photos.
• If your previous passport was lost or stolen, the witness in Section 6 must be the same as in section 9.
• Finally, if you need to contact us, the best way is by email, email@example.com
The best way to contact the Embassy passport division is via their dedicated passports email address, Madrid.Passport@dfa.ie. If you wish to check on the status of your application, please use the online tracking system rather than email them directly, using the 11 digit tracking number that will have been on your application form.
The Embassy passport phone line is open from 09.30 – 13.00hrs, Monday to Friday on 91 436 4093. They have also introduced a handy way to avoid the hassle of a late application with an automatic passport reminder service, http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=81861
If you need an application form you can collect one at your nearest Honorary Consulate during their morning opening hours (their details are on our website – www.irlanda.es), or you can send an email to Madrid.firstname.lastname@example.org your name, your full postal address and the number of forms you need.