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Question

183. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice the average waiting time for refugee travel documents issued to date in 2021. [50038/21]

184. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Minister for Justice the average waiting time for temporary travel documents issued to date in 2021. [50039/21]

Answer

Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy James Browne): I propose to take Questions Nos. 183 and 184 together.
While the processing of all travel document applications has now resumed, the Travel Document Unit of my Department has unfortunately been impacted by the restrictions that were imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, regrettably, the processing time for both Convention Travel Documents for refugees and temporary travel documents is currently 27 weeks, upon receipt of a fully completed application.
As the Deputy may be aware, a travel document also needs to be printed in the Passport Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs. This can take up to two weeks once the application is finally approved and sent for printing. My Department is working closely with the Passport Office to reduce this backlog now that they have resumed printing all documents.
The Travel Document Unit of my Department reviews all travel document applications and submissions to ensure the application is fully completed, accurate and signed by An Garda Síochána. Checks are also undertaken to ensure that the applicant has supplied all of the requested documents, including the Permission letter, passport photographs, fee, and, if applicable, expired travel document or passport. Through this process, my Department assesses if the applicant, in relevant cases, is eligible for a travel document or if they can obtain a national passport. Question No. 184 answered with Question No. 183.