Insights

5-year tourist visas now available to eligible Chinese travellers

GES Newsflash - Ireland (July 3, 2019)

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Ireland has begun issuing five-year, multiple-entry tourist visas to qualifying Chinese nationals.

What does the change mean? Chinese nationals traveling to Ireland for tourism may now apply for the five-year visas if they have (1) a reliable travel history (proven by a previously held tourist visa issued by Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States or a Schengen Area country) and (2) complied with the terms of that previous visa.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The change took effect July 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Short-stay tourist visas.
  • Who is affected: Chinese nationals planning on visiting Ireland as tourists. Note that this change affects individuals travelling with a passport issued by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Individuals holding passports issued by Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau do not require a visa to travel to Ireland for tourism or business.
  • Business impact: Travelers are not permitted to conduct business activities on a tourist visa; however, Chinese nationals could be eligible for five-year business visas in certain circumstances.

Background: Irish officials timed the issuance of the new visas to coincide with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and China. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, said in a statement that he hoped the new visas would lead to continued growth in Ireland’s “important bilateral relationship” with China. “With a population of over 1.3 billion people and a strong economy, China offers fantastic potential tourism links for Ireland,” he said.

Analysis & Comments: The introduction of five-year, multiple-entry tourist visas to qualifying Chinese nationals is consistent with broader efforts in Ireland to attract Chinese tourists and business travelers. While business activities are not permitted on a tourist visa, Chinese business travelers can apply for business visas to carry out business activities and/or apply for 14-day work permission.

Note that this change affects individuals travelling with a passport issued by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Individuals holding passports issued by Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau do not require a visa to travel to Ireland for tourism or business.

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