- British-Irish Visa Scheme
- Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme
- Understanding your visa/On arrival in Ireland
- 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:
All short-stay ‘C’ visas, single-entry or multiple-entry, issued for the following purposes of travel to Ireland:
- Visit (family/friend)
- Visit (tourist)
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.
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:
BIVS 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 circumstances it is recommended that you apply for a UK Visa prior to submitting an application for a visa for Ireland.
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 Programme for 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
- 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.
- 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 in 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 (Irish Residence Card) is issued by the IRP 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.
Further details on the registration process are attached in the following link: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/registration
Notice – Abolition of Adult re-entry visas from 13 May 2019
If you are from a visa required country and have a valid IRP card or GNIB card, you will no longer require a re-entry visa to leave and return to Ireland on or after 13 May 2019. You will be able to show your passport and IRP or BNIB card to prove to airlines and immigration officials that you have a right to travel to Ireland. You will be exempt from the requirement to hold a visa.
Visa required nationals without an IRP/GNIB card will continue to require a valid visa, which must be applied for outside the State. Full details can be found on the INIS website at the following link:
- 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