ePassports

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., took delivery on 18 April 2006 of the first Irish ePassports, containing biometric data.

In October 2006 the Passport Office began issuing the new Irish electronic passport (ePassport).  This technology represents a major development in identity verification and security, providing a much stronger linkage between the individual and his or her identity than traditional systems which rely solely on visual identification.  It will strengthen the passport issuing process by providing a further safeguard against fraudulent applications.  In addition under the US Visa Waiver Scheme, participating countries, including Ireland, must be issuing ePassports from 26 October 2006.

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