Thursday, 8 February 2024
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
132. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the efforts made to ensure that Irish passport cards are compatible with e-gates in other European and EEA states; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5775/24]
The passport card was launched in October 2015 and offers Irish citizens the convenience of travel to 31 countries including the EU/EEA member states, Great Britain and Switzerland, with a credit card sized travel document. Over 718,000 passport cards have been issued since 2015 and users have found it to be a highly convenient travel document.
The Passport Card is fully compliant with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations concerning requirements for passports in card format.
Ministries of Justice/Home Affairs as relevant in each EU and EEA country, Great Britain and Switzerland have been contacted and informed to ensure that border authorities are fully appraised of the validity of the Irish Passport Card for travel.
The Irish authorities have engaged extensively with our international partners in relation to the card and will continue to do so. However, when travelling through airports abroad, access to e-gates is determined by the local infrastructure.
I am satisfied that the Passport Service has taken necessary measures to ensure that authorities in countries that permit the use of passport cards for border entry are aware of the features of the Irish passport card.
I encourage Irish citizens to follow the rules and directions given by the country's airport authorities when traveling abroad.