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IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? The Irish government has announced that the Irish Short Stay Visa Waiver Programme will be temporarily suspended as part of COVID-19 measures to restrict travel and protect public health. The program had allowed nationals of certain countries visiting the United Kingdom on short-stay visas to also travel to Ireland. Under the agreement, the visa holders had to leave Ireland before their permission to stay in the U.K. ended.
What does the change mean? Foreign nationals from 17 countries were previously able to use their short-stay U.K. visa to enter Ireland, provided they could meet certain requirements. These nationals will no longer be permitted to use their U.K. short-stay visa to visit Ireland, but may apply separately for an Irish visa. This is a temporary measure, which does not affect the Common Travel Area rights of British/Irish citizens.
Analysis & Comments: The program is suspended because of a divergence in approach between Ireland and the U.K. in travel measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has committed to publishing a Green List of countries July 20 that will clarify which countries are in a similar position to Ireland in terms of the disease. Those entering Ireland from Green List countries will not need to restrict their movements, and the suspension may be reviewed at that time.
If you have employees or potential new hires who may be affected by the above changes, please contact the Deloitte immigration team. We have created a guidebook for non-EEA nationals that explains how to set themselves up in the system and how we will support them through this new process, and we continue to update our FAQ for employers.
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