Entry Visa Application Processing to be Suspended in Ireland
It has been announced that entry visa processing is to be suspended due to Covid-19. The move comes as the Irish government attempts to curb infection rates in the State.
It will still be possible to submit online visa applications but processing of all applications is currently suspended.
The government has said that further updates will be provided on application processing when available.
Are There Any Exceptions?
The suspension of the processing of visa applications will apply to the vast majority of those from visa-required countries.
However, there are certain exceptions, including those working in key areas. Some of those who might not be affected by this announcement includes:
- Transport workers
- Freight delivery drivers
- Healthcare and critical care workers
- Seasonal, frontier and posted workers
- Those travelling for medical care or education
- Those travelling for urgent family reasons
- Those travelling for business purposes
- Transiting passengers
Also, Employment Permit applications will not be affected by these changes and will still be processed.
Crack Down on “Dublin Dodge”
Meanwhile, the Irish government has promised to crack down on travellers from the Middle East who are using the so-called “Dublin-dodge” to enter the UK and evade coronavirus restrictions in the UK.
The number of people who are flying to Dublin from Dubai has increased since the UK added the United Arab Emirates to a travel ban list last month. There are concerns that many are using Dublin as a back door to Britain.
Irish and British citizens can still travel between the UK and Ireland freely, which is potentially enabling many to get to Britain via Ireland from the UAE.
It was reported by the Sunday Independent that hundreds of Britons have been using Dublin as a back door in recent days. This has prompted concern among airport staff that they could be exposed to new variants of Covid-19.
Last Spring, travellers started to use Dublin as a way to enter the UK and avoid Covid restrictions which were in place. This latest development is another form of what has been dubbed the Dublin Dodge.
Ireland’s Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, told RTÉ:
“If that’s been abused (free movement between Irish and UK citizens) by UK citizens coming back from other parts of the world to try to take advantage of that issue then we will close that door by ensuring that there is communications with airlines and with UK authorities to make sure that they know exactly where people are coming from through our airports”.
Do you Need Immigration Advice?
The Immigration Advice Service in Ireland is here to provide all the immigration legal support you might need.
If you are looking to apply for a visa as someone who is not affected by the latest visa changes, or if you are currently in Ireland and want to extend your stay in the country, we are here for you.
To find out more about all our services, please do not hesitate to get in touch on (+353) 061 518 025.
The processing of visa applications have been suspended due to Covid-19
Simon Coveney insisted that UK holidaymakers will not be able to use Ireland as a back door to the UK to avoid quarantine rules. [Image credit: RtE]