As a result of a recent agreement made between the U.K. and Ireland, Chinese and Indian nationals holding certain short-stay visas issued by either country will be permitted to visit both the U.K. and Ireland with only one visa. However, travelers must first travel to the country that issued the visa. If it is inevitable to travel first to the country to which one does not hold a visa, he/she has 24 hours from the time of landing to begin travel to the other country. Free travel within the Ireland-UK Common Travel Area, which includes Northern Ireland, will be permitted if the Chinese and Indian nationals hold one of the following:

  • A U.K. visa, other than a visa for transit or for a visit to enter into a marriage or civil partnership; or
  • An Irish visitor, conference/event, or business visa.

Travelers holding any other type of visa must apply for a separate visit visa for each of the countries.

In order to be eligible to travel to both countries under this scheme, Chinese and Indian applicants must apply for the visa at a U.K. or Irish visa application center in their home country.

This scheme has been introduced with the hopes of easing some of the burden of travel for business visitors to Ireland and the U.K. Although no timeline has yet been set by the U.K. and Ireland, it is expected that this scheme will be expanded to other nationalities in the future.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.