Ireland (15 November 2021) – COVID-19 - Visa processing resumes for the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme


What is the change?

The Minister for Justice has announced that the Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme has resumed. This programme allows people visiting the United Kingdom on short stay visas to travel to Ireland.

Key points:

  • Implementation time frame: The changes are effective as of 31 October 2021.
  • Who is affected: Those who are currently in the UK with a valid UK short stay visa can now travel to Ireland. They must depart from Ireland before the expiry of the period granted at entry to Ireland.
  • Next steps: Employers should update their employees who need to apply for an entry visa, as they may now be in a position to do so. Employers and employees should note that all COVID-19 restrictions and policies must be adhered to once an individual has secured their permission to enter Ireland.
  • The number of countries covered by this programme has also increased to 24, including 7 new countries added to the list. The full list is as follows:
    • Bahrain
    • Belarus
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Colombia
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Kosovo
    • Kuwait
    • Montenegro
    • Oman
    • People’s Republic of China
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Qatar
    • Republic of North Macedonia
    • Russian Federation
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Serbia
    • Thailand
    • Turkey
    • Ukraine
    • Uzbekistan
    • Vietnam

Analysis & Comments:

Deloitte welcomes this announcement as it will allow for improved business continuity and the gradual re-opening of borders as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

The Irish government has made this recommendation in line with other countries working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

If you have employees impacted by the above changes, please contact the Deloitte immigration team to assist. We continue to update our FAQ for employers found here.

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