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Thursday 29 September 2016

Phone app allows selfies for new card passport

Published 06/10/2015 | 02:30

Amy Scully holds the new passport card and a phone with the
new passport app at its launch. Photo: Damien Eagers
Amy Scully holds the new passport card and a phone with the new passport app at its launch. Photo: Damien Eagers
Close-up of the passport card

Irish citizens will be able to take a selfie for the new passport card, in lieu of the traditional photobooth shot.

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The new-style passport, which is the size of a credit card, was launched by ­Foreign ­Affairs Minister Charlie ­Flanagan ­yesterday.

Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to launch the passport card, which will fit in any wallet or purse.

Irish citizens, who ­currently hold a valid Irish passport book, can apply for the ­document ­online and through a free smartphone application, which was launched yesterday.

The card costs €35 and will be valid for five years.

A number of Irish companies were involved in the design, which "adheres to the highest levels of security".

Minister Flanagan ­described it as "a most significant ­innovation".

"It will enhance the travel experience for Irish people as they travel abroad. This is an Irish-led, Irish-designed ­project, combining cutting-edge technology," he said.

"The card will be ­recognised by all the major airlines ­operating out of Ireland and it covers key destinations for Irish business travellers and holidaymakers."

Applicants for the new card must be over 18 years old and Minister Flanagan said the application system includes a "photograph-compliance test component".

"This means that applicants can take a selfie and check that your photograph meets the ­international passport ­standard requirements prior to the ­submission. I am ­particularly proud that Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to introduce such a passport card," he added.

The processing time is ­currently estimated at 20 days.

The new card can be used to travel within the 28 ­European Union member states, as well as the countries ­within the ­European Economic Area, which includes Iceland, ­Liechtenstein and Norway.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is not necessary to cancel the card if a passport holder loses the traditional book. And if the card is lost, it will not be necessary to cancel the book.

Minister Flanagan said the new card will be an "invaluable and important document" and he is calling for it to be given "the full respect that it deserves and that it be safeguarded in the most careful way".

Irish Independent

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