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NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

NEW VISA REQUIREMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR NATIONALS OF BOTSWANA AND SOUTH AFRICA

The Department of Justice has announced that nationals of Botswana and South Africa will be required to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland, effective from Wednesday 10th July 2024. Previously, people travelling from either of these countries to Ireland have not required visas to enter the State.

According to the Department, this decision will bring Ireland into closer alignment with the Schengen area in respect of both of these countries, and in line with the UK in respect of South Africa.

The Dublin Visa Office will establish a dedicated ‘South Africa desk’ to process applications from South African nationals. Additionally, the Department of Foreign Affairs will establish three Visa Application Centres, located throughout South Africa, with visa service provider Global VFS.

Transitional arrangements have been put in place for nationals of Botswana and South Africa who have existing arrangements to travel to the State. South African and Botswanan passport holders who have booked to travel to Ireland before 10th July 2024 and will travel before 10th August 2024 may travel to Ireland provided they are in possession of the following documentation:

  • A valid passport; and
  • Documentary proof from their carrier (and not a Travel Agent) showing the date of purchase of their ticket(s), their name as the passenger, the flight(s) number and date of travel.

This documentation will need to be produced where requested to do so by a carrier or an Immigration Officer.

Any person who has booked to travel to Ireland before 10th July 2024 and is travelling after 9th August 2024 cannot avail of the transitional arrangements. Additionally, any person who books to travel to Ireland after 10th July 2024 cannot avail of the transitional arrangements and will need to have obtained an Irish visa in advance of travel.

The Minister noted that the new requirements for nationals of Botswana and South Africa “are kept under ongoing review, having regard for the need to ensure that effective immigration controls are in place whilst also facilitating those who wish to travel to Ireland for the purposes of a visit, to work, to study, or to join family members”.

The announcement can be found here:

Visa Requirement for nationals of Botswana and South Africa – Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)

Berkeley Solicitors have extensive experience in representing clients through the Irish visa application process. Please contact our office if you would like to arrange a consultation with one of our solicitors.