Visa policy of Ireland

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Entry stamp for Ireland

Visitors to the Republic of Ireland must obtain a visa from one of the Irish diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries.

It is one of the visa policies in the European Union, the other being the visa policy of the Schengen Area and the visa policy of the United Kingdom, as well as the visa policies of the EU special territories. While Ireland is a member of the European Union, it has an opt-out from the Schengen border-free area, maintaining instead a Common Travel Area with the United Kingdom.

Visa policy map[edit]

Ireland visa lists
  Special visa-free provisions (EEA, OCT or other)
  Visa-free access to Ireland for 90 days
  Visa required to enter Ireland, transit without visa
  Visa required to enter Ireland and for transit through Ireland

Visa exemptions[edit]

Citizens of the following countries and territories can enter Ireland without a visa:[1]

As of right
Visa-exempt
(As of 1 November 2012 this list represents the countries which have ratified the European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees and who have not suspended its operation.[4])
Visa Waiver Programme

Under a Visa Waiver Programme introduced in July 2011, citizens of the following 17 countries who hold a valid UK visa (limited to the following kinds: general visitor, child visitor, business visitor, sports visitor or academic visitor) and who have cleared immigration in the United Kingdom can visit Ireland visa-free for up to 90 days (or until the expiry of their UK visa, whichever is shorter). The programme is being run on a pilot basis and was originally due to expire on 31 October 2012 but was extended to 31 October 2016.[5]

Citizens of the above 17 countries who hold a UK or Schengen long-term visa or residence permit still need to apply for an Irish visa, but will have the application fee waived.

Ireland and the United Kingdom have agreed on a joint British Irish Visa Scheme. Initially from September 2014 citizens of China and India will be able to obtain such a visa.[7][8]

Entry visas[edit]

A traveller who does not qualify for one of the visa exemptions above is required to apply for an Irish visa in advance at an Irish embassy or consulate.

A single entry visa costs €60, whilst a multiple entry visa costs €100. However, spouses and certain family members of EEA and Swiss citizens are issued Irish visas free of charge.[9]

All visa applicants aged 6 years and over, residing in Nigeria (irrespective of nationality) are required to submit their fingerprints as part of the visa application process.[10]

Transit visas[edit]

In general, a passenger who transits through an Irish airport to a destination outside the Common Travel Area while remaining airside does not require a visa.

However, citizens of the following countries are required to apply for a transit visa at a cost of €25 in advance from an Irish embassy or consulate:

Entry and stay conditions for the EU citizens[edit]

Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 recognises the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States[11][12][13] defines the right of free movement for citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the European Union (EU) and the three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Switzerland, which is a member of EFTA but not of the EEA, is not bound by the Directive but rather has a separate bilateral agreement on the free movement with the EU.

Citizens of all European Economic Area (EEA) member states and Switzerland holding a valid passport or national identity card enjoy freedom of movement rights in each other's territory and can enter and reside in the each other's territory without a visa.

If EU, EEA and Swiss nationals are unable to present a valid passport or national identity card at the border, they must nonetheless be afforded every reasonable opportunity to obtain the necessary documents or have them brought to them within a reasonable period of time or corroborate or prove by other means that he/she is covered by the right of free movement.[14][15]

However, EU, EEA member states and Switzerland can refuse entry to an EU/EEA/Swiss national on public policy, public security or public health grounds where the person presents a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society".[16] If the person has obtained permanent residence in the country where he/she seeks entry (a status which is normally attained after 5 years of residence), the member state can only expel him/her on serious grounds of public policy or public security. Where the person has resided for 10 years or is a minor, the member state can only expel him/her on imperative grounds of public security (and, in the case of minors, if expulsion is necessary in the best interests of the child, as provided for in the Convention on the Rights of the Child).[17] Expulsion on public health grounds must relate to diseases with 'epidemic potential' which have occurred less than 3 months from the person's the date of arrival in the Member State where he/she seeks entry.[18]

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen Family members[edit]

A family member of an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen who is in possession of a residence permit indicating their status is exempt from the requirement to hold a visa when entering the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland when they are accompanying their EU/EEA/Swiss family member or are seeking to join them.[19] However the UK requires family members to obtain a special permit in order to enter the United Kingdom.[20] Non-EU family members will need a Schengen Visa before they travel to Switzerland even if they possess a UK residence permit that clearly mentions that they are the family member of an EEA Citizen.

Reciprocity[edit]

Of the 58 countries and territories outside the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland whose citizens are entitled to exercise free movement rights in Ireland, the following offer full reciprocal treatment to Irish citizens (i.e. visa-free access of at least 3 months): Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Lesotho, Macao, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela. However, the United States requires Irish citizens to obtain an ESTA (at a cost of US$14) in advance if entering the US by air or by sea, whilst Australia requires Irish citizens to obtain an eVisitor authorisation online in advance free of charge (Ireland does not require Australian and US citizens to obtain an authorisation prior to arriving in Ireland).

Other countries and territories only offer partially reciprocal treatment to Irish citizens (i.e. visa-free access that is less than 3 months). The following countries permit Irish citizens to stay without a visa for up to 30 days (or 1 month) only: Belize, Kiribati, Maldives, Nauru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles (1 month, extendable to 12 months), Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Also, the following countries the following countries permit Irish citizens to stay without a visa for less than 3 months: Mauritius (60 days for tourists, 90 days on business), St Lucia (6 weeks), Samoa (60 days) and Swaziland (60 days).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Visa requirements for entering Ireland". Citizens' Information Board. Retrieved 25 August 2011.  "Do I need a Visa to come to Ireland?". Irish Department for Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 12 August 2011.  Immigration Act 2004 (Visas) Order 2012 (S.I. No. 417/2012). Statutory Instrument of the Government of Ireland.
  2. ^ Persons holding a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport. See also British National (Overseas) for persons residing in Hong Kong holding a form of British nationality.
  3. ^ Persons holding a Macau Special Administrative Region passport.
  4. ^ European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees CETS No.: 031, Status as of: 11/2/2013.
  5. ^ "The Irish Short-Stay Visa Waiver Programme". Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ "Visa Fees". Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Biometrics (Fingerprinting)". Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States" (in English). 2004-04-29. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  12. ^ Summary of the Directive 2004/38/EC "Right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States" (in English). 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  13. ^ "Decision of the EEA Joint Committee No 158/2007 of 7 December 2007 amending Annex V (Free movement of workers) and Annex VIII (Right of establishment) to the EEA Agreement" (PDF) (in English). 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  14. ^ Article 6.3.2 of the Practical Handbook for Border Guards (C (2006) 5186)
  15. ^ Judgement of the European Court of Justice of 17 February 2005, Case C 215/03, Salah Oulane vs. Minister voor Vreemdelingenzaken en Integratie ([4])
  16. ^ Article 27 of Directive 2004/38/EC (Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States).
  17. ^ Article 28 of Directive 2004/38/EC (Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States).
  18. ^ Article 29 of Directive 2004/38/EC (Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States).
  19. ^ Articles 3(1) and 5(2) of the of Directive 2004/38/EC (Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States).
  20. ^ UK Border Agency. "EEA family permits". Retrieved 11 February 2013. 

Notes[edit]