Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., Minister for Justice and Equality,
announced the extension of the British-Irish Visa Scheme to India.
The British-Irish Visa Scheme facilitates 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.
This will mean that tourists, business visitors and other eligible visitors
from India will be able, for the first time, to visit both the UK and
Ireland, including moving freely between north and south of the island of
Ireland on a single visa.
The Minister said: “Following the very successful launch of the scheme for
China in October last, it has now been extended to India. This decision is
taken jointly by the Irish and UK authorities with the aim of boosting
tourism and business travel to our countries.
The British-Irish Visa Scheme is a unique opportunity for the tourism
promotion bodies on both islands to jointly promote tourism travel to
Ireland and the UK. With that objective Tourism Ireland and Visit Britain
are working together to market the British-Irish Visa Scheme in China and
Minister Fitzgerald went on to say that Ireland and UK are fully committed
to working together to enhance and strengthen the Common Travel Area,
including taking all necessary measures to preserve its integrity and
security. A landmark agreement for the sharing of immigration data between
both countries’ immigration authorities was signed last autumn to underpin
the sharing of visa data in tandem with the implementation of new visa
arrangements. This incorporates the collection of biometrics as part of
the Irish visa application process and systems are now in place to
facilitate the automated and seamless sharing and cross-checking of