herald

Friday 2 December 2016

New passport app hit by selfie struggles

travel

Charlie Flanagan
Charlie Flanagan

One man had to take 76 selfies as he tried to use a new smart phone app to sign up for the new card-style passport.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan launched the credit-card-sized passports in early October, and 8,204 applications have so far been received by the Passport Office.

However, some have claimed they have faced difficulties while trying to meet the app's requirements.

Applicants put in details from their current passport book and take a photo of themselves, before paying the €35 fee with their credit card via the app.

But one Irish expat in Vienna said he had taken 76 selfies over two days before one was accepted by the app.

"Two weeks later I received an email from the Passport Office cancelling my applications as, literally, my face did not fit," he said in a letter to the Irish Times.

There are 60 different requirements for a passport photo.

These include measurements to ensure the face is the correct size for the passport, good lighting and minimal background clutter.

The Department of Foreign Affairs stated that 455 photos have been deemed non-compliant by the app so far, representing 5.5pc of the total number of applications. They said that it expected the number of rejections to fall in the coming weeks.

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