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Frequently Asked Questions

Travelling, living and working

Yes. Irish citizens can continue to travel freely between the UK and Ireland in the same manner as before.

There are no requirements for passport controls in operation for Irish and British citizens travelling within the Common Travel Area i.e. between Ireland and the UK. However, as regular passengers would be aware, all air and sea carriers require some form of identification and some carriers regard a passport as the only valid identification.

The UK Home Office has already indicated that Irish citizens will not need to register or take any action under the Settled Status scheme. They will continue to hold their Common Travel Area rights which are not reliant on EU membership. However, as EU citizens, Irish citizens – if they so wish – may be able to apply under the Settled Status scheme when it is open for applications.

The Settled Status scheme is open to some EU citizens and their family members now. It will open fully by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021 in the case that a Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. When full clarity on the overall context of the Scheme is available, including on the rights provided for in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, it will be important for people to make a fully informed decision on whether they wish to apply having carefully considered all the information and their own personal circumstances. Circumstances which may be relevant include where an Irish citizen has close family members and/or dependents who are neither Irish nor British and hence are not covered by the Common Travel Area. Further information on this will be added to as more details become available.

Reciprocity of voting rights have been enjoyed by Irish citizens resident in the United Kingdom, and British citizens resident in Ireland, since the beginning of the Common Travel Area arrangements. Irish citizens resident in the United Kingdom, and British citizens resident in Ireland, have the right to vote in local and national parliamentary elections. The right to vote at local and national parliamentary elections will remain subject to Irish and British citizens having reached the established voting age and having registered on the electoral roll in their respective jurisdictions.

Q. Can I still access social housing supports in the UK as an Irish citizen/in Ireland as a British citizen?

The Common Travel Area affords British citizens residing in Ireland, and Irish citizens residing in the UK, the right to access social housing supports, including supported housing and homeless assistance, in each other’s state, on the same basis as citizens of that state.

The Status of British citizens in Ireland will remain unchanged. British citizens will not need a visa or any form of prior authorisation to travel to Ireland, any form of residence permit or employment permit. In Ireland, they will continue to enjoy the right to live, work, study and access services, as they currently do.

Immigration requirements, as appropriate, will continue to apply to non-Irish and non-British citizens.

Further information can be accessed at Citizensinformation.ie

Under the Common Travel Area arrangements, British citizens are able to work in Ireland without an employment permit, including on a self-employed basis.

Education

There is no change in the right of Irish citizens to move between and reside in both jurisdictions, and Irish citizens can still live and work or study and access social benefits in the UK on the same basis as British citizens.

Q. My children are travelling from Northern Ireland to attend primary and post-primary schools in Monaghan. Is there any change?

There is no change – parents can continue to cross the border and bring their children to schools in the border counties. Ireland and the UK are committed to facilitating parents’ who wish to access primary and post-primary education on either side of the border.

Should you pursue your further and higher study in the UK, your fees will be set at the EU level for 2019/ 2020 academic year, and will continue on that basis for the duration of the programme for which you have registered. The Common Travel Area (CTA) means Ireland and the UK will take steps to ensure Irish and British citizens can continue to access further and higher education on the same fee basis into the future.

The EU fee applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study.

Yes. You will be able to continue to access the SUSI grant on the same basis.  The Government is taking steps to amend the Student Support Act 2011 to provide for this.

Q. I am a British citizen and would like to study in Ireland. What does the Common Travel Area mean for me?

Irish Higher Education Institutions will continue to process your fees on the same basis as Irish students. This means a fee level which is the same for all EU students. Furthermore, if you are eligible for SUSI grants, this will continue to be available to you on the same basis as until now.

Your Social Welfare Entitlements

Under the Common Travel Area, Irish citizens and British citizens in each other’s state have the right to access social security benefits on the same basis as citizens of that state. This includes reciprocal arrangements for Social Insurance schemes, Social Assistance schemes and Child Benefit. The Government is committed to ensuring that the reciprocity of social welfare rights and entitlements, which currently exist for Irish and British citizens within the Common Travel Area, are safeguarded and maintained.

Q. What does the new Social Protection Agreement between Ireland and the UK mean for me?

Because of the unique nature of the Common Travel Area and the associated rights and privileges which it provides and will continue to provide for Irish and British citizens in each other’s countries, Ireland and the United Kingdom have formalised the pre-existing Common Travel Area social protection arrangements in a legally binding agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, all existing arrangements regarding Social Insurance entitlements will be maintained in Ireland and the UK. This means that Irish citizens living in Ireland maintain the right to benefit from Social Insurance contributions made when working in the UK and to access Social Insurance payments if living in the UK and vice versa.

For the most up-to-date information on access to social welfare benefits, we recommend that you consult the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website.

Your Health

Both the Irish and British Governments are committed to maintaining the current healthcare arrangements under the Common Travel Area (CTA). Under the CTA, Irish citizens and British citizens who live in, work in, or visit the other state have the right to access healthcare there. Other North South cooperation arrangements will also continue on the island of Ireland.

More information can be found on the Department of Health’s website.