Irish Passport Card Guide

To travel abroad, Irish citizens do have not only the classic passport in a booklet form but also the passport card. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of this document.

Table of contents

Irish passport card vs passport book: the difference

The most noticeable difference between the card and book is, of course, its form. But other than that, their main distinction is the access it provides.

The passport booklet, as we know, can get visas stamped into it. It can be used to travel to practically all countries that open their borders to foreigners.

The passport card only covers countries of the EU, EEA, Switzerland, and the UK. Practically, it is suitable for nearby countries with visa-free travel.

The main advantage of the passport card is its compactness. Due to its small size, it occupies no more space than a driver's license, so it is handy for short journeys. In addition, the issuance of the passport card will cost you less than in the case of the passport book. Due to its cheapness and ease of issuance, many people obtain this document as a convenient addition to a regular passport.

Where can I travel with an Irish passport card?

The Irish passport card, as we explained above, can be used to travel to countries of the EU, EEA, Switzerland, and the UK.

In complete, these countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.

Irish passport card application process

The application process for a passport card is done online. You can apply for the card individually if you already have a passport book. If you do not yet have the book, the card is only available as part of a bundle with the booklet.

To apply for a passport card individually or as a bundle, fill out the form and upload documents as needed, including your photo, on the official DFA platform.

Irish passport card photo requirements

The application photo for passport cards is the same as passport boo, as it requires the same set of documents. Here are the requirements for the online application:

Take care of these parameters as well:

Here is an example:

Irish passport card photo example

Take a photo for a passport card online!

Applying for your passport card (even as a bundle with your booklet) is easier than ever. To make the process even smoother and fully online, you can use online services to process your passport photo. Visafoto, for example, has been processing portraits taken at home and turning them into professional passport portraits since 2013.

The online photo service Visafoto takes into account all the technical requirements of Irish passport card photographs and makes sure that your photo becomes fully compliant.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

First, take a photo of yours under daylight like this one:

Passport photo original source

You will have two types of photos: a digital one for electronic applications and another one suitable for printing.

Here they are:

Example of an Irish passport online photo
Irish passport photo for printing

Irish passport card fees

The application fees depend on whether you’re applying for the card individually or as a part of the bundle. If you do take the bundle, see which bundle you applied for:

Passport card waiting time

The turnaround time depends on the workload of the processing offices. Currently, first-time applications take 20 working days on average, while simple renewals take ten and complex renewals take 15 working days.

Irish passport card validity and renewal

The Irish passport card has the same expiry date as your passport book, meaning five years at most.

Upon expiry, you can apply to renew it online together with your passport book. Applying as a bundle saves you money and time.

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