Short stay visa waiver programme
You may not need a visa to visit Ireland for less than 90 days if:
- You are a national of a country listed below
- You hold a UK short stay visa (as described below)
- Your visit to Ireland ends before your UK 'leave to remain' ends
Note: The British-Irish Visa Scheme allows some Chinese and Indian nationals to visit the United Kingdom and Ireland using a single short stay visa issued by either country.
Note 1: China
In the case of China, nationals of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are already on the list of those nationals who do not require a visa to travel to Ireland.
Note 2: United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar
In the case of nationals from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, the United Kingdom (UK) Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) cannot be used to travel to Ireland from a third country.
The EVW is only valid for a single journey and the passenger has to specify the exact flight he or she will be getting to the UK.
With an EVW the traveller can fly to the UK and directly onto Ireland within the allowed time period, without an Irish visa; but only if they fly directly from the UK to Ireland.
UK short stay visas
UK short stay visit visas are permitted except those issued for:
- Visitors in transit
- Visitors seeking to marry or to enter a civil partnership
Long term visitors to the UK are not allowed, for example:
- Long term student visas
- Persons seeking to join a spouse or for family reunification
How to use the visa waiver programme
In order to avail of the programme you must have landed and gained lawful entry to the UK on foot of your current UK visa, prior to undertaking the journey to Ireland.
Each distinct period of leave to remain in the UK (up to a maximum of 180 days each time) requires a prior legal entry into the UK before travel to Ireland under the programme, no matter what the duration of the UK visa.
This programme is not reciprocal. It does not permit a person who is a visa required national under UK immigration rules to enter the UK on foot of an Irish visa. If you wish to enter the UK (including Northern Ireland), you must be in possession of a valid UK visa.
The Irish short stay visa waiver programme was announced by the Government as part of its Jobs Initiative with a view to promoting tourism from emerging markets. It commenced on 1 July 2011. The Programme will run to 31 October 2021 but may be amended or extended at any point.
|Visa Waiver Programme
Information note (PDF 300KB)