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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, and there will be no change to this as a result of Brexit.

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.

For journeys on the island of Ireland, British and Irish citizens do not require any travel documents when crossing the land border.

Immigration authorities may also require you to have valid official photo-identification, which shows your nationality. Therefore, please check that your passport is valid and in date.

Immigration requirements, as appropriate, will continue to apply to non-EU and non-UK citizens. For further information, please see the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website.

Non EEA nationals should be in possession of a valid travel document and, if required, an Irish entry visa or transit visa for the State.

The UK Home Office has 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 apply under the Settled Status scheme.

Close family members and/or dependents of Irish citizens who are neither Irish nor British (which include EU and non-EU family members) and hence not covered by the Common Travel Area, will have to apply for the Settled Status scheme in order to maintain their right to live and work in the UK after it leaves the European Union. This requirement does not mean, however, that an Irish citizen must apply to the Settled Status scheme in order to facilitate an application from their non-British/Irish family member.

The Settled Status scheme is open to some EU citizens and their family members now. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. It is 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.

Reciprocity of voting rights has 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 same level as citizens in the UK for the 2020/2021 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.

This 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. 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 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, on the same basis as citizens’ resident in the State.

The Government is working to ensure that new arrangements will provide for continued access to the health services between Ireland and the UK, including on the island of Ireland, which patients in both jurisdictions currently access.

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