The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., today announced an extension to the Irish Short-stay Visa Waiver Programme.

The Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme began on 1 July 2011, and was further extended in 2012. Under the Programme, certain short stay visas issued by the Immigration authorities of the United Kingdom (UK) are recognised by Ireland for the purposes of onward travel to Ireland. The Programme is now extended for a further five years to 31 October 2021. 

The Tanaiste said: "This scheme has been regarded by all tourism promotion agencies as a real success and has contributed to ongoing increases in tourism. Tourism figures have risen year on year with Dublin Airport having its busiest year to date in 2015 with a record 25 million passengers travelling through the airport last year.

"The extension will continue to provide a significant boost to efforts to attract more visitors to Ireland from these countries."


Notes to Editors:

Under the Programme, tourists or business people who have lawfully entered the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a valid UK visa will be able to travel on to Ireland without the requirement to obtain an Irish visa. They will be allowed to stay in Ireland for up to 3 months or until their UK visa runs out, whichever is the shorter. 

Nationals of eighteen countries in all are included in the programme. The countries involved are India, Kazakhstan, Peoples Republic of China, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.