Irish passport

Irish passports are issued by the Consular and Passport Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland.

Physical appearance

Irish passports use the standard EU design, with a machine-readable identity page and 32, 48 or 64 visa pages. The cover bears the harp, the national symbol of Ireland. The words on the cover are in both of Ireland's official languages, Irish and English. The top of the cover page reads "An tAontas Eorpach" and the equivalent in English, "European Union". Just above the harp are the words "Éire" and its equivalent in English, "Ireland". The identity page on older Irish passports was on the back cover of the booklet. Newly-issued passports have been redesigned with additional security features. The identity page is now a plastic card attached between the front cover and the first visa page.

The ePassport or biometric passport, was launched on 16 October 2006 with the first ePassports presented that day by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. [ [ Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern TD, Launches new ePassport, 16th October 2006] ] .

Identity information page

The Irish passport includes the following data:

* Photo of passport holder.
* Type (P)
* Country (IRL)
* Passport No.
* 1. Surname
* 2. Forename(s)
* 3. Nationality
* 4. Date of Birth
* 5. Sex
* 6. Place of birth (county of birth if born in Ireland, country of birth if born elsewhere.)
* 7. Date of issue
* 8. Date of expiry
* 9. Authority
* 10. Signature

The information page ends with the machine readable zone.

Passport note

The passports contain a note from the issuing state, addressed to the authorities of all other states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of that state and requesting that he or she be allowed to pass and be treated according to international norms. The note inside the passport states:

"In Irish":

:"Iarrann Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha na hÉireann ar gach n-aon lena mbaineann ligean dá shealbhóir seo, saoránach d'Éirinn, gabháil ar aghaidh gan bhac gan chosc agus gach cúnamh agus caomhnú is gá a thabhairt don sealbhóir."

"In English":

:"The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland requests all whom it may concern to allow the bearer, a citizen of Ireland, to pass freely and without hindrance and to afford the bearer all necessary assistance and protection."


The data page/information page is printed in Irish, English and French. Each detail includes a reference number (e.g. "1 SLOINNE/SURNAME/NOM"). This reference number can be used to look up translations into any other EU language (as of issuance) on a passport-included page.

ecurity features

The latest Irish passports have security features to make them difficult to forge or be mistaken as forgeries. They have also been optimised for machine reading.

The identity page of the passport has been moved to the front of the passport, and is now printed on a plastic card. This allows easier machine reading of the passport, as the official has to spend less time finding the identity page in the passport. The top-right corner of the passport contains the biometric chip, which contains a copy of the information contained on the identity page, and a facial scan of the holder. To prevent unauthorised parties remotely accessing the information stored in the RFID biometric chip, the machine readable zone of the identity page must be scanned to unlock it. [ [ "ePassports FAQs" Department of Foreign Affairs] ] This safeguard is known as Basic Access Control.

The title of the identity page "Éire/Ireland/Irlande" "Pas/Passport/Passeport" is printed in colour-changing ink, which varies from light green to gold-red, depending on the angle of the light shining on it. The background of the identity page is a complex celtic design, with the words "Éire Ireland" occasionally woven into the design.

The identity picture is now greyscale, and is digitally printed onto the surface of the page, rather than the actual photos sent by the applicant being pasted onto the page. The Irish harp is superimposed as a hologram onto the bottom right corner of the photograph. The words "Éire Ireland" are embossed several times into either side of the identity page. This embossing partially covers the photograph as an added security measure. A likeness of the photograph of the applicant is pin-punched into the surface of the identity page, and can be viewed when the identity page is held to light.

Under UV light fluorescing fibres are visible on every page except the data page. Careful examination yields page numbers on the left hand side of the left page, and vice versa for the right hand page. As you progress through the pages the numbers shift downward until on the last page they are near the bottom.

Rights to a passport

Irish passports may be issued to individuals holding Irish nationality; the Republic of Ireland extends its nationality law to Northern Ireland.

All Irish citizens have a constitutional right to an Irish passport, subject to certain limitations [ [ Department of Foreign Affairs - Issue of Passports to Irish Citizens (SECTION 10.4 ELIGIBILITY) ] ] . Passports are generally valid for 10 years; children may apply for 3- or 5-year passports (depending on their age).


External links

* [ Republic of Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs Passport Office]

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