Jun 2, 2012

Short Stay Visa Waiver Ireland

The short-stay visa waiver programme, which was introduced in Ireland in July 2011, was initially to apply until October 2012. It has now been decided to extend it for a further four years and some other changes are being introduced. The programme allows people from the listed countries to come to Ireland without a specific Irish visa if they have a visa to enter the UK.

Under the Programme, people
(i) who are nationals of one of 16 countries covered by the scheme,
(ii) who have entered the UK on  a UK ‘C’ General visa, and
(iii) have been granted leave to remain in the UK for up to 180 days,
(iv) travel to Ireland, within the time remaining on a current leave to remain in the UK, without the requirement to obtain an Irish visa, and
(v) be granted permission to remain in Ireland up to a maximum of 90 days or the time left on their UK leave to remain, whichever is the shorter.

Each distinct period of leave to remain in the UK (up to a maximum of 180 days each time) requires a prior legal entry into the UK before travel to Ireland under the Programme, no matter what the duration of the UK visa.

The following countries are now covered by the scheme: Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Montenegro, Oman, People’s Republic of China, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Nationals of the above states who are long-term residents of the UK or the Schengen area will not have to pay any visa fees.

The Schengen area countries states are the EU member states (other than the UK and Ireland) and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Citizens of Schengen area countries do not need a visa to enter Ireland but residents who are citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA may need one.

No comments: