211. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the changes in visa requirements for transit passengers; the problems caused to some of these persons as a result of lack of clarity and contradictory requirements being furnished; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20488/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Irish transit visas are issued by the Minister for Justice and Equality pursuant to Section 17 of the Immigration Act 2004 to citizens of a state or territorial entity specified in Schedule 5 of Statutory Instrument No. 473 of 2014 (as amended) for the purpose of passing through a port in the State in order to travel to another state. The most recent change was S.I. No. 264 of 2017 which came into effect on 9 June 2017 and added Georgia and Ukraine to the Schedule. Persons who are nationals specified in Schedule 5, and are transiting through a port (and are not seeking permission to enter the State), must be in possession of a transit visa in order to proceed to their connecting flight.
There are some practical limitations to relying on a transit visit and this arises when there are no transit facilities at the port in question. As outlined in the INIS website, intending passengers are asked to check with their airlines as to the facilities available and, if necessary, obtain a short stay visa before travelling. This enables passengers with onward connections, who must exit through immigration control, to do so using the short stay visa.
The provision of facilities at Ireland's ports falls to the specific authority operating the facility. My colleague the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport has responsibility for the various port authorities.
The onus rests at all times with the passenger to ensure that they possess the required visas for travel to or transit through an Irish port. Information for visa required passengers who need to transit through an Irish port is provided on the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service - http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/visa-required-transit. Information for non-visa required passengers who need to transit is also provided on the website - http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/non-visa-required-transit.