Tag Archive for: ireland visa requirements

RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN CITIZENS REMOVED FROM IRISH SHORT STAY VISA WAIVER SCHEME

RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN CITIZENS REMOVED FROM IRISH SHORT STAY VISA WAIVER SCHEME

On Tuesday the 25th of October 2022, changes to the short-stay visa waiver scheme were agreed at a meeting of the Cabinet following a proposal by the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.

This scheme allows citizens from over 20 countries, who have a valid visa to travel to the UK, to travel to Ireland without having to obtain an additional Irish visa.

However, Russian and Belarusian citizens travelling to Ireland from the UK will no longer be able to avail of this visa waiver scheme. Citizens of Russia and Belarus will now have to obtain an additional Irish visa to enter Ireland when travelling from the UK.

The terms of the short stay visa waiver scheme are accessible here:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/coming-to-visit-ireland/short-stay-visa-waiver-programme/

The Minister’s notice is available here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/d4b0e-russia-and-belarus-removed-from-short-stay-visa-waiver-scheme/#:~:text=Russia%20and%20Belarus%20removed%20from%20Short%20Stay%20Visa%20Waiver%20Scheme,-From%20Department%20of&text=The%20Minister%20for%20Justice%20is,the%20Russian%20Federation%20and%20Belarus.

This blog article has been prepared on the basis of current immigration law and policy, which is subject to change. Please keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page where articles relating to updates and changes in immigration law and policy are regularly posted.

RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN CITIZENS REMOVED FROM IRISH SHORT STAY VISA WAIVER SCHEME

SUBMISSION OF ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS WITH VISA APPLICATIONS

Berkeley Solicitors has been informed from a number of clients that are submitting visa applications via VFS centres that their original documents are not being retained for the processing of their applications.

We have recently received confirmation that VFS staff act on behalf of the Department of Justice in accessing original documents for the purposes of visa applications.

We are advised that staff at the VFS centres assess the Applicant’s original documents for the required attestations and then scan these documents.

We have been advised that the original documents are then handed back to the Applicants and are not passed on to ISD officials for the processing of such applications.

We have been informed that this practice is currently being enacted on a phased bases across Irish visa offices globally.

This is a point of great concern as we understand the ISD requirements require submission of original documents in support of visa applications.

We have always advised our clients that original, attested documents are extremely important for a visa application, and it therefore causes much concern when they are not accepted for the processing of an application.

We request that the policy in respect of providing original documents for visa applications is published on the ISD website so that Applicants are aware of the current procedure.

RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN CITIZENS REMOVED FROM IRISH SHORT STAY VISA WAIVER SCHEME

EXTENSION OF 5-YEAR MULTI-ENTRY SHORT-STAY VISA OPTION TO ALL VISA REQUIRED COUNTRIES

On April 22nd 2022, the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, announced the extension of the 5-year, multi entry, short-stay visa option to all visa required countries. A multi entry visa permits the visa holder to travel to Ireland on a number of occasions during the dates shown on the visa.

Prior to this, Ireland had offered 1 year, 2 year and 3-year multi entry visas. The option of a 5-year multi-entry visa was only available to Chinese passport holders; a measure which was introduced on the 1st of July 2019.

In her announcement of the change, Minister McEntee stated:

“The availability of 5-year multi entry short stay visas to eligible applicants from all visa required countries is a very positive measure. It will enable people who visit Ireland regularly, for business or family reasons in particular, to make one application, which when granted, will then cover travel over a five-year period.

This will make travelling to Ireland a more convenient and attractive option at a time when travelling worldwide is resuming and our tourism industry, in particular, is reopening following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Previously, multi entry visas were only issued to applicants who have shown a compliant Irish travel history in the recent past. In line with the changes announced by Minister McEntee, people who have travelled frequently to the United Kingdom, the Schengen Zone, USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, and have observed the conditions of such visas, will now be able to apply for the option of a multi-year visa for 1-5 years, even if they have no previous travel history to Ireland.

For a person with no Irish travel history, a multi entry visa may be approved where the person:

  1. Needs to travel regularly to Ireland on short visits for business meetings
  2. While in Ireland on business, needs to travel to another country and return to Ireland for further meetings or onward travel, or
  3. Is travelling to and from another country via Ireland.

The option of a standard, single-entry visa also remains available.

The current visa fees are as follows:

Single entry short Stay ‘C’ visa: €60

Multiple entry short stay ‘C’ visa: €100

The granting of a multi-entry visa, as with all visa applications, is ultimately at the discretion of the relevant Visa Officer.

RE-ENTRY VISAS FOR CHILDREN UNDER 16 SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

In a notice published on the 14th June 2022 it was announced that the requirement to obtain a re-entry visa has been suspended indefinitely for children under 16.

The notice states that children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who hold legal residence permission in the State.

The accompanying adult must prove that they are the legal parent or guardian of the child by providing suitable documentation such as:

• A birth or adoption certificate, or guardianship papers showing your relationship with the child
• A marriage/divorce certificate if you are the child’s parent but have a different surname
• A death certificate in the case of a deceased parent

The full notice can be found at: https://www.irishimmigration.ie/suspension-of-re-entry-visa-requirements-for-children-under-the-age-of-16-years/

If you or a family member have queries about your immigration permission please do not hesitate to contact us.

RUSSIAN AND BELARUSIAN CITIZENS REMOVED FROM IRISH SHORT STAY VISA WAIVER SCHEME

UPDATED VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR PERSONS TRAVELLING FROM DESIGNATED COUNTRIES

We refer to our previous blogs in relation to the Minister’s notice of 26th November relating to the new immigration requirements for nationals of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zimbabwe

This notice has again been updated on 6th December 2021 by the Department of Justice.

The notice is entitled:

Visa Requirements for Persons Travelling from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zimbabwe (or persons who have been in those countries in the last 14 days).

On 28th and 30th November 2021 the Minister enacted the following Regulations:

HEALTH ACT 1947 (SECTION 31A – TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS) (COVID-19) (RESTRICTIONS UPON TRAVEL TO THE STATE FROM CERTAIN STATES) (NO. 5) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 6) REGULATIONS 2021

A full version of the Regulations is available here:

https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2021/si/639/made/en/pdf

The updated notice outlines that if you are visa or non-visa  required national and you are travelling to Ireland from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zimbabwe you will be required to comply with the restrictions on travel provided for in these Regulations.

It is stated that visa applications will only be accepted and processed where an applicant comes within one of the outlined exemptions:

  • Has obtained or is entitled to apply for a right of residence under EU Free Movement
  • Has a valid Residence Permission in the State under the immigration Acts
  • Is a family member of an Irish citizen
  • Is a diplomat and to whom the privileges and immunities conferred by an international agreement or arrangement or customary international law apply in the State, pursuant to the Diplomatic Relations and Immunities Acts 1967 to 2006 or any other enactment or the Constitution

The notice further elaborates that even where an applicant meets the above exceptions, travel should be limited to “essential journeys only”.

The Minister confirms that the Regulations only apply to persons travelling from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

It is confirmed that if you have not been in one of the above countries in the previous 14 days  prior to arrival in the State the Regulations do not apply to you.

Nationals of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zimbabwe remain visa required persons. Persons who hold nationality of the above countries, who have not been in above  countries for the previous 14 days can apply for a visa in the normal way and are not subject to the narrow exemptions above.

It should be noted that the Minister has a policy to seek proof of lawful residence in the country from which a visa required national applies for their visa to Ireland. Our experience has been that the Relevant Irish Embassy/Visa Office will seek evidence of lawful residence permission from the applicant in the Country from which they have applied for their visa.

The full update of 6th December  can be found below:

https://www.irishimmigration.ie/covid-19-visa-arrangements/

This notice is complex and the Immigration procedures for nationals of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have now been amended at least three times within a period of 2 weeks.

This highlights the continued uncertainty and ongoing challenges of the pandemic.  We understand the distress and worry this will have caused to those affected.

If this notice affects you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact Berkeley Solicitors to discuss your case.

NEW ENTRY AND TRANSIT VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTAIN AFRICAN COUNTRIES ANNOUNCED

On 26th November 2021, the Minister for Justice announced that new entry visa and transit visa requirements were introduced in line with public health advice regarding new Covid-19 variants.

Passport holders from countries effected are now required to apply for visas in advance of travelling to Ireland. The countries affected by these visa requirements are:

  • South Africa (entry visa and transit visa required)
  • Botswana (entry visa and transit visa required)
  • Eswatini (entry visa and transit visa required)
  • Lesotho (entry visa and transit visa required)
  • Namibia (transit visa required – this country is already subject to an entry visa requirement and this requirement remains in place)

It is unclear how long these new visa requirements will be imposed for.

The note confirms visas will only be accepted and processed for a limited set of priority and emergency cases, as set out in the following list:

  • All long stay Employment applications, supported by a work permit or Atypical permission
  • Patients travelling for imperative medical reasons
  • Transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting
  • Pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis and Third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of 3rd level study
  • Join Family visa applications
  • Preclearance applications from De Facto Partner of an Irish National, De Facto Partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder, or of a non EEA Researcher on a Hosting Agreement and Family members looking to join a UK National in Ireland
  • Persons travelling for imperative family* or business reasons
  • Persons entitled to avail of the provision of the EU Free Movement Directive
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and police officers, and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions
  • Passengers in transit
  • Seafarers
  • Journalists, when performing their duties

The notice clarifies that “*Applicants seeking to travel for imperative family reasons are assessed on an individual basis and are largely confined to emergency cases that may arise in a family situation”.

The notice and list of emergency/priority criteria can be found in full here

If this affects you or your family, please get in contact with Berkeley Solicitors to discuss your case.