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Ireland's first formal Visa Waiver Programme and new arrangements for tourists

Date Published: 01-07-2011

From 1 July 2011, nationals of 14 countries* who ordinarily need to obtain a visa to enter Ireland will not be required to do so if they are in possession of a short term visa to enter the UK. Arrangements will also be put in place to facilitate visits by nationals of these 14 countries who are long-term residents in the UK. The Visa Waiver Programme will be implemented on a pilot basis until the end of October 2012.

On 11 May 2011, Alan Shatter, T.D., Minister for Justice and Equality announced details of a Visa Waiver Programme for tourists and other short stay visitors from a designated list of countries. Announced as part of the Government’s Job Initiative in the area of tourism and promoting Ireland as an ‘add on’ destination for UK visitors, the Visa Waiver Programme will facilitate the entry of certain overseas visitors to Ireland once they are in possession of a valid visa for the UK.

The Minister also announced that the Department of Justice and Equality had recently finalised new immigration procedures for cruise-liners visiting Ireland which will facilitate the ‘easy embarkation’ of visitors at ports of entry.

*List of countries to which the Visa Waiver Programme will apply:

Nationals from Eastern Europe

  • Belarus
  • Montenegro
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Middle East

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

Other Asian Countries

  • India
  • Peoples’ Republic of China
  • Uzbekistan
For more information:

See Department of Justice and Equality’s announcement of the Visa Waiver Programme

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