The post-Brexit Irish passport surge has broken a record with over 700,000 passports issued so far this year.
The Passport Office tweeted the milestone yesterday: “Wow, we have just broken a new record, over 700,000 passports have been issued so far this year! #RecordBreaker.”
The number issued is up 10% on the figure for the corresponding period last year and is well ahead of last year’s total of 670,000.
An Irish passport would allow its holder to continue to move and work freely within other EU states once Britain withdraws.
The projected total for 2016 from the Department of Foreign Affairs was 745,711. Applications are expected to reach almost 1m in 2019.
Passport applications from Britain over the first 10 months of this year, at 58,015, were 42% higher than the corresponding period last year, while applications from Northern Ireland, at 59,043, increased by 27%.
According to the department, requests received from Britain increased by almost 77% in October, compared to October last year. Applications from Northern Ireland rose by 71%.
At the end of October, 58,015 applications had been received from Britain, a year-on-year difference of 17,287, with 59,043 from the North, an increase of 12,647.
In September, applications from Britain more than doubled to 7,518, compared to the 3,431 received during the corresponding month last year, an 119% increase.
There number of applications from Britain in August doubled to 6,710, compared to 3,286 in August 2015.
In the June 23 referendum, the Northern Ireland electorate voted to remain (56%) in the EU, but, overall, the UK voted to leave (52%).
There were 5,814 applications were received from Britain in June, up 22% compared to June last year.
There were 7,049 applications from Northern Ireland received in June, a 9% increase over the corresponding month last year.
From early next year it will be possible for adults renewing their passports, whether they are based on the island of Ireland or overseas, to submit their application online.
The department’s Passport Service is planning to have the online service available across the full range application types, including first-time applicants and children, by 2019.
It is expecting demand to continue to grow strongly due to demographic changes, continued increases in overseas travel and the wider use of the passport as an identity document and Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny believes the surge will continue as long as there is uncertainty about Britain’s future relationship with the EU and how this will affect the free movement of British people throughout the in the union.
There is concern that British people will require a visa to travel to EU countries once they officially leave. Others claim they will be asked to register online before travelling. They may also face fees such as those charged to non-EU nationals.
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