Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, has welcomed the innovative new credit card sized passport as a world first. Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan, unveiled the design of the new Irish Passport Card, which will be accepted for travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area and will be available from this summer, via a new app.
“This is a world first and a totally new innovation. The fact that you can apply for a passport card using an app is another world first and a sensible idea that shows the State can accommodate modern life. Many people may not be aware that while Ireland is in the EU and the Eurozone it is not in the Schengen free travel area. The Schengen Area is the area of EU states that do not require passports from EU citizens when traveling. Ireland and the UK opted out of this and have our own free travel area. For young people backpacking, inter-railing or travelling across Europe a passport is an essential piece of kit. The advantages of a passport card over a passport book are huge. Less bulk, water resistant, easier to carry / store and less delicate.”
“The App makes it very easy to apply for the card – the app even allows a photograph to be taken that will meet international standards for passports. This will reduce the cost and hassle of getting a passport photo.”
“Backpacking students are not the only ones to benefit. People who travel for business will also benefit. They can use the Passport Card within the EU and EEA while their Passport Booklet is with an embassy as part of a visa application process. The new card can also be used as a backup travel document within Europe if someone loses their passport while travelling or has it stolen.”