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Find out more about the British Irish Visa Scheme, Visa Waiver Programme, what to expect on arrival in Ireland and some useful links

British-Irish Visa Scheme

The British-Irish Visa Scheme is a scheme which allows for short term travel to and around the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland (including Northern Ireland), on the basis of a single visa, by nationals who are visa-required for the purpose of travel to or entrance into both jurisdictions.

The Scheme involves the mutual recognition by either jurisdiction of certain classes of visa issued by the other i.e. Ireland will accept a UK visa and vice versa. The following classes of visa come within the scope of the Scheme:

Irish visas

All short-stay ‘C’ visas, single-entry or multiple-entry, issued for the following purposes of travel to Ireland:

  • Visit (family/friend)
  • Visit (tourist)
  • Conference/Event
  • Business

and endorsed with the coding ‘BIVS’. Visas endorsed with the coding ‘BIVS’ are described as ‘eligible visas’ for the purpose of this information note.

All other classes of visa e.g. student visas, visas for family reunification are excluded from the scope of the Scheme.

UK visas

Visas, endorsed with the coding ‘BIVS’, granted to persons seeking leave to enter or remain in the UK as defined in the Immigration Rules of the UK, except those seeking leave to enter as (i) a Visitor in Transit or (ii) a Visitor seeking to enter for the purpose of marriage or to enter a civil partnership.

Find out more about the scheme:

BRITISH-IRISH VISA SCHEME - Embassy of Ireland India Frequently Asked Questions

BRITISH-IRISH VISA SCHEME – Information Note

PLEASE NOTE BIVS IRL VISAS ARE NOT ISSUED TO APPLICANTS WHO DO NOT HAVE A VALID UK VISA AND WISH TO TRANSIT THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND TO VISIT THEIR REFERENCE WHO IS RESIDENT IN NORTHERN IRELAND. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCESIT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU APPLY FOR A UK VISA PRIOR TO SUBMITTING AN IRL VISA APPLICATION.

 

Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme

Under the Programme certain visas issued by the authorities of the United Kingdom are recognised for the purposes of travel to Ireland. The Programme permits nationals of 18 countries, including India, who are holders of certain categories of Short Stay “C” UK visas to travel to Ireland within the time remaining on their current leave to remain in the UK without the requirement to obtain an Irish visa.

The countries included in the Programme are:

India, Kazakhstan, Peoples Republic of China, Thailand, Uzbekistan

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine

The categories of visas covered are short stay visit visas granted to persons seeking to leave to enter or remain in the UK except those seeking to enter as (i) a Visitor in Transit or (ii) a Visitor seeking to enter for the purpose of marriage or to enter a civil partnership. Long-term visitors to the UK, for example long-term student visas, persons seeking to join spouse or family reunification, are not encompassed.

In order to avail of the Programme you must have landed and gained lawful entry to the UK on foot of your current UK visa, prior to undertaking the journey to Ireland.

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.

This Programme is not reciprocal. It does not permit a person who is a visa required national under UK immigration rules to enter the UK on foot of an Irish visa.  If you wish to enter the UK (including Northern Ireland), you must be in possession of a valid UK visa.

The Programme will run until October 2021 but may be amended or extended at any point. Detailed information about the Programme and its requirements is available in the information note below.

Click on Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programmefor further information.

     

Understanding your visa/On arrival in Ireland

Click on the following link to assist you in understanding the visa that has been issued to your passport - Understand my visa

Note:

  • All non-EU citizens, whether visa-required or not, will be subject to ordinary immigration controls at the port of entry.
  • The length of stay permitted (including for those bearing a visa) is decided by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry, will reflect the purpose of the journey for which any visa was granted and will be noted on your passport.
  • Those bearing a visa should note that the validity period shown on the visa indicates only the dates between when the visa must be presented to an Immigration Officer at a port of entry - the validity period dates noted on the visa are not the date between which you are permitted to remain in Ireland.

Staying Longer

  • Non-EEA nationals are required to seek leave to enter the State by reporting to an Immigration Officer at an Irish port of entry.
  • Those bearing a visa should note that the validity period shown on the visa indicates only the dates between which the visa must be presented to an Immigration Officer at a port of entry - the validity period dates noted on the visa are not the dates between which you are permitted to remain in Ireland.
  • The onus is on the individual to have all documentation relating to their reasons for entering Ireland for presentation to the Immigration Officer to gain entry.
  • The length of stay permitted is decided by an Immigration Officer at the port of entry, will reflect the purpose of the journey for which any visa was granted and will be noted on your passport.
  • The Immigration Officer may grant leave to enter to a maximum of 90 days. They may, depending on the documentation presented, grant a lesser period than 90 days.
  • Should the non-EEA national wish to remain in the State beyond the period granted by an Immigration officer on arrival ion the State they must report and register with their local Immigration Registration Officer (IRO) which is located at the Superintendent's Office, An Garda Síochána (Police)) in the District in which you reside.
  • Persons residing in the Dublin area are required to register with the IRO at the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) offices on Burgh Quay. Those residing outside of the Dublin area should contact their local Garda station for the location of their local IRO. For further information visit garda.ie.

An immigration certificate of registration (GNIB Registration Card) is issued by the GNIB to a non-EEA national who so registers. A fee of €300 is charged in respect of each immigration certificate of registration issued to a non-EEA national.

 

Remember...

  • If you arrive in Ireland on a long stay visa you are required to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. There is a fee of €300 and you will receive a GNIB I.D. card. This fee must be paid each time you renew your registration.
  • If you are on a long stay visa, you can apply for a multiple re-entry visa once you have registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) in Ireland