What Is a Short-Stay Visa Waiver Programme?
Ireland short-stay visa waiver is a programme that allows citizens of certain countries with UK visas to visit Ireland without needing an Irish visa. You must have permission to visit the UK on a short stay before you can use this programme to enter Ireland.
Only a valid UK short-stay visa is eligible under this programme. You must use the visa to enter the UK before travelling to Ireland.
If you are a citizen of one of the eligible countries with a British passport, you may not require this programme as British and Irish citizens can cross each other’s borders without visas.
What Are the Eligible Countries?
The countries covered in this programme are:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The people’s Republic of China.
- The Philippines.
- The Republic of North Macedonia.
- Russian Federation.
- Saudi Arabia.
The programme is open to citizens of the aforementioned countries who hold diplomatic or special passports and do not need a visa to enter the UK.
What Are the Conditions for the Visa Waiver Programme?
The following are the rules guide for the programme:
- You must have a valid UK visa and gained lawful entry into the UK before visiting Ireland.
- You must first make a lawful entry into the UK with your UK visa before travelling to Ireland. It is necessary regardless of the duration of your visa.
- You must travel within the specified dates of your UK permission.
The entry stamp on your visa will indicate if you made a lawful entry into the UK before travelling to Ireland. You will have to provide an Irish visa if you do not go through the UK Immigration Border Agency.
The following are types of UK visas that are eligible for the programme:
- Short stay visit visa (Standard Visitor Visa) of six months stay duration.
- Entry Clearance for visit or business.
The programme excludes the following:
- Transit visas.
- Marriage visitor visas.
- Long-term visas.
- UK Long-term legal residents.
The following are the necessities to fulfil:
- You must be a citizen of one of the countries listed for the programme.
- You must not be a permanent resident of the UK.
- You must have a valid UK visa.
- You must have entered the UK with the visa.
- You must have a valid passport.
- You must have leave to enter or remain in the UK.
Is the UK Visa Enough to Enter Ireland?
Your UK visa only serves as a pre-entry clearance. Your entry into Ireland is subject to meeting the requirements attached to the purpose of your visit to Ireland and the decisions of the immigration officer.
If the officer grants you entry into Ireland, you will get an entry stamp in your passport.
How Long Can I Stay in Ireland?
You can only stay in Ireland for 90 days. After your 90 days visit ends, you can revisit Ireland as long as the visa is still valid. If the remaining time on your visa is less than 90 days, you can stay in Ireland until it expires.
Note that you do not need to return to the UK before returning home.
Your duration of stay is subject to the decision of the immigration officer and will be indicated in your passport.
Travelling to Ireland from the UK still requires that you meet the entry requirement of Ireland. Check the INIS website for conditions, requirements, and restrictions attached to the purpose of your visit to Ireland.
You do not need to go through the primary vaccine series. The presentation of proof of vaccination ended in March 2022. Thus, you do not need to provide vaccine certificates or a receipt of an Irish passenger locator form. You also do not need to go through post-arrival testing or quarantine requirements. If you feel COVID-19 symptoms during your stay in Ireland, refer to the HSE guidance to isolate yourself and undertake antigen or PCR testing.
For Northern Ireland Travellers
You only require a UK visa if you want to travel from Northern Ireland to Ireland. Also, if you are travelling from Northern Ireland and plan on returning to Northern Ireland after your stay in Ireland, you will not be required to get an Irish visa.
You will need Irish and UK visas if:
- You travel to Ireland and then travel to Northern Ireland.
- You travel to Northern Ireland from Ireland and return to Ireland.
To travel to Ireland, you need a valid visitor short-stay visa. Here are the required documents for one:
- Two recent passport photographs.
- Valid passport. Its duration of validity must be three months beyond your visa expiry date.
- Evidence of financial support to fund living expenses. The evidence should be six months’ bank statements before the visa application.
- Proof of adequate accommodation.
- Letter of invitation from your host (UK resident). It should indicate your host’s identity, nationality, residence address, and financial status.
- Proof of visa fee payment.
- Proof of no criminal record.
- Present residence address in your country.
- Names of parents.
- Date of birth of parents.
- Sponsor’s name and address (if any)
- Proof of current status as a student, employee, or business person.
- Tuberculosis test results. (If applicable).
Read here for further information on applying for a UK visa.
How Much Does the UK Visa Cost?
The UK standard visitor visa fee costs £100.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Visa Decision?
Short Visa application processing typically takes three but may span into seven weeks due to a spike in the volume of applications, information verification, and other delays. However, some processing may take longer than seven weeks.
You may be able to access faster processing through the Priority Service. Priority Service is open to all countries listed in the Ireland visa waiver programme.
Verify your identity at your country’s local visa application centre and choose the Priority Service during your application. You need to pay an additional fee for the service.
After your appointment at the application centre, you will receive feedback on your application result within five working days.
Getting a UK visa can be challenging and time-consuming due to the strictness of immigration control. You also need in-depth knowledge of the conditions and requirements for entry approval. IAS advice service will provide you with travel advice and assistance for successful application and travel to Ireland, and our consultants can offer you the exact same service as an immigration lawyer.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 12:45 pm
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Document Check Package
Document checking service that ensures your documents are sufficient to prove your eligibility.
The Advice Package
With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration experts will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Department of Justice & Equality on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our team and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Document Check Package
Our Document Checking Package is a service for those who need to submit their application but choose to do so on their own but want help with ensuring their documents are in line with the requirements for the visa. Our immigration consultants will check your documents in this case.