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