The Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., together with the United Kingdom Home Secretary Theresa May, has formally launched the British-Irish Visa Scheme.
The British-Irish Visa Scheme will allow nationals requiring a short-stay visa to travel freely within the Common Travel Area using a single visa issued by either Ireland or the UK.
As from later this month, Chinese nationals, followed shortly thereafter by Indian nationals, will be the first to benefit from the British-Irish Visa Scheme. A further rollout of the Visa Scheme to other countries is expected following a review of the scheme in early 2015.
To support the operation of British-Irish Visa Scheme, the Minister and Home Secretary signed a new agreement for the sharing and cross-checking of immigration data between both countries’ immigration authorities.
Ireland will be incorporating the collection of biometrics as part of the Irish visa application process and new systems are being put in place with the UK to facilitate automated data sharing.
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