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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