Ireland to issue passport cards for European travel

11 Sep 15



What is the change? Ireland will offer its citizens a “passport card” that can be used for travel throughout the EU/EEA in lieu of a passport, akin to EU Identity Cards.  

What does the change mean? The passport cards, which will be available to Irish citizens ages 18 and older who already hold a passport, will add convenience as a secondary ID card and travel document.

  • Implementation time frame: Sept. 28.
  • Visas/permits affected: Passport cards.
  • Who is affected: Irish nationals may apply if they are at least 18 years old and can present an Irish passport.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants will be able to apply online or through a mobile app.
  • Business impact: The passport cards will allow Irish nationals, including employees and frequent business travelers, to travel within Europe while their passport is held during a pending visa or work permit application.
  • Next steps: Eligible Irish citizens will be able to apply by the end of September and may wish to contact their BAL professional to confirm application procedures when they become available.

Background: Applicants will only be able to apply online or through a free mobile app and pay by credit card. To be eligible, applicants must possess a valid Irish passport with at least 30 days of remaining validity. The cards will be valid for up to five years or for the remaining duration of the applicant’s passport. The government fee is £35, plus an additional £5 postal fee for applicants living outside Ireland.

Unveiled in January, the card was expected to launch in July, but has been delayed until the end of September to add greater security features to the card, including a hologram photo of the holder.

BAL Analysis: The credit-card sized passport cards will be a convenient alternative to the bulkier Irish passport booklet for frequent travelers. Irish business travelers and assignees will be able to travel in Europe while their passport is withheld during a visa application process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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