A couple of nights ago Enid rang me with the news that there may be an issue with my passport - as there was with hers. The issue is that we both got our last passport in August 2006. In October 2006 Ireland started issuing "electronic" passports which meant we are part of the last batch of "non-electronic" passports in Ireland.
So what's the problem sez you.
Well! Enid spotted a notification on her facebook feed from the American Embassy stating that from the 2 April you can no longer get an ESTA (visa waiver) if you have a non electronic passport. Instead you must make an appointment with the embassy for an interview for a full Visa. Eek! We didn't want to have to do that. So we decided we'd just get new passports - they were up in August 2016 anyway - and once we have the new passport we will apply for the ESTA.
Enid sent hers off via Passport Express on Tuesday and using their tracking can see it is in the Passport office now. I was going to send mine this weekend but we figure the passport office will be busy with this issue (in addition there have been 2 bank holidays lately which am sure is not helping their turnarounds) I decided I should get mine in as soon as possible.
So on my lunch today I got photos taken, went to the garda station for my form to be stamped and then to the GPO where I sent it off by passport express. Phew!
Hopefully things will go smooth from here and we will have the passports back soon.