NEW SHORT STAY VISA WAIVER PROGRAMME
Ireland’s first ever short-stay visa waiver programme was announced on 30th June. It relaxes restrictions on who must apply for short stay visas in a bid to attract tourists visiting the UK to extend their trip to come to Ireland. The current programme is a pilot that will run until October 2012, taking in the Olympics in London in 2012.
In response to some queries we have had in on how the programme applies, here is a brief summary.
Firstly, note that the waiver only applies to a specific list of nationalities, many of which are currently ‘visa’ countries. The sixteen countries included are: India, Kazakhstan, Peoples Republic of China, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Secondly, potential applicants should note that the waiver only applies when the applicant already has lawful permission to enter the UK as a tourist or business person. They will be permitted to enter the State for 3 months or until their UK visa runs out, whichever is the shorter.
It is also worth noting that the initiative allows long-term residents of the UK who are nationals of the listed countries to have the cost of an Irish visa waived.
We welcome this pragmatic initiative. Further details of the new initiative are available here