Are you sick and tired carrying your passport booklet around? If you are, then you might want to check out the latest move made by the Irish government. For Irish people living in New Zealand, you can now get an Irish passport card that will fit right into your pocket.
Just recently, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Charlie Flanagan has unveiled a new Irish passport card with a much smaller and more compact size. The new passport card, which is about the size of a credit card, will allow Irish passport holders to travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area with ease.
Aside from allowing passport holders to travel conveniently throughout Europe, the passport card can also be used as a form of identification and as a backup travel document. The minister said young people in particular would find the card’s compact size quite handy and useful, especially if they want go on a night out with their friends.
“The Passport Card will be particularly useful for young people who use their Passport Booklet as identification, especially on nights out. As a father, I have often felt concern about the impracticality of the Passport Booklet as a means of identification for young people on nights out and this new Card will be a far more practical option,” Minister Flanagan said.
The passport card’s smaller size is also expected to help prevent people from misplacing their Irish passports. “This is a credit card-sized passport that can fit easily in your wallet. It’s an additional extra to the actual passport book. It will suit an awful lot of people. It won’t be carried in a back pocket – it will be in the pocket or the purse,” said Fiona Penollar, a spokesperson for the Passport Office.
Costing €35 or $40, the passport card will be available to all Irish citizens who are 18 years old and above and currently holding a valid Irish passport. The government will hand the cards out starting from mid-July 2015. Irish citizens who have Irish passports but are living in New Zealand and other parts of world are also eligible to get their own passport card. The card will have maximum validity of five years (or the remaining validity of an individual’s passport book).
To get the new passport card, applicants can submit their application online. They can also use the mobile app introduced by Minister Flanagan.