Passport cards that will enable Irish citizens to travel through the European Union without bringing their full passport will be ready for issue as soon as next month.
The Minister For Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, has said that the scheme – which was originally earmarked for introduction back in July – are now completed.
Speaking in Washington DC, where he is negotiating new work and resident visas for Irish citizens, Mr Flanagan announced that the cards will launch in the next three weeks.
The cards were delayed due a design flaw, and at the time the Department said that in order to "improve the durability of the card it was necessary to alter the polycarbonate structure of the card."
This meant they took longer to manufacture than planned.
Separately, Minister Flanagan said he was welcoming the tabling on an immigration reform bill later today.
He said reform on the matter had been "particularly slow" but also that it must be kept on the US agenda as it was an "Irish priority".